Now Showing: A Tire For All Seasons

Your vehicle has been beaten by winter weather and the tires look a little worn. They fail the tread “penny test.”

How can you choose the right tires for spring and summer driving? The ubiquitous “all-season” category offers a bewildering array of choices.

“There are so many products,” said Will Robbins, senior product manager at Bridgestone America. “The way you drive and where you drive are important parts of choosing an all-season tire.”

For instance, an SUV used for hauling may require a different type of tire than one used for a daily commute to the office. Yet, both types of tires may be considered “all-season.”

“All-season tires are tuned for a variety of climate conditions,” said Robbins, referring to their adaptability throughout the year.

The fight for grip is won by a thousand thin cuts. Those slashes, or “sipes,” hold the keys to traction--they flex and provide more edges on road surfaces.

“All-season tires are designed to stay flexible in spring weather,” Robbins said. “They absorb road bumps and don’t generate much noise.”

Robbins offered the following suggestions for choosing your next set of all-season tires:

  • Decide what you want from your next set of vehicle tires: long wear, performance in wet weather or ability to handle extreme cold. All tires are a trade-off of those three requirements.
  • Select all-season tires when you are looking for performance and longevity in mild climates. All-season tires are designed to provide comfort for family sedans, stability in rainy climates and extended wear for freeway commuters.
  • Check inflation monthly to prevent uneven wear and extend the tread life of your vehicle’s tires.
  • Ask about the tire “wear” warranty. Tires with quality rubber compounds and long life provide better value over product lifetime.