Road trip tips: benefits of all-season tires

What are the benefits of all-season tires? You can find all kinds of tires at the tire store. And that list includes all-season tires. The question is: what kind of tires would be right for your car? What are the benefits of all-season tires? And how do they compare to other kinds of tires?

Simplicity 

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One of the benefits of safe all season tires is the simplicity that comes with owning them. You don’t have to change out your tires with the seasons. You get to keep the same tires on your car year-round unless you get a flat. Nor do you have to worry if your spare tire can handle the current weather conditions, if it is an all-season tire, too. 

Lower Cost 

A single set of all-season tires is always cheaper than two sets of tires. In fact, all-season tires are cheaper than snow tires. This is partially due to supply and demand. Snow tires are only required in areas that get a lot of snow like the northern United States or the high elevations in the Rocky Mountains. Even in these cases, car owners only need them several months out of the year. This means that fewer snow tires are manufactured than all-season tires, increasing their cost. 

Furthermore, you will be able to get more out of them by rotating the tires periodically. A side benefit of the tires designed for constant running is that they tend to be more durable than average. This tends to give them a longer run life.

A different issue that comes with snow tires is that most people have to pay for a professional to install the tires. If you can get by with all season tires, it is far cheaper overall. However, you’ll want to go with snow tires before you put chains on all-season tires. Summer tires aren’t even worth mentioning except to say almost no one lives anywhere where summer tires are much better than all-weather tires. But all-weather tires have longer tread life than summer tires, giving all-weather tires a longer run live and lower total cost of ownership. 

Versatility 


All-season tires are designed to handle standard road conditions. This includes rain, light snow, mud and gravel roads. You may be able to drive off-road briefly, though they’re not designed for driving over rough ground. This means you get the ability to handle wet pavement and a little mud with equal ease. For comparison, your snow tires aren’t going to handle hard dry pavement very well. The durable tread on all-season tires will handle thin ice and hot pavement.

Note that all-season tires are not the same thing as all-weather tires. All-weather tires are generally rated M+S for mud and snow. All-weather tires typically handle a little better in rainy climates than all-terrain tires. However, if you live somewhere that wet, such as in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll probably want rain tires instead of all-season or all-weather tires. 

A Smoother Ride 


The shallower tread on all-season tires means you won’t have as much traction on muddy, slick or snowy roads. On the other hand, this gives you a quieter, smoother ride. Yet they have a solid grip on standard road pavement.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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