Summer vs. all-season tires: which is right for you?

When picking out new tires for your car, there's more to consider than just the weather. Before you buy, here are the pros and cons of summer vs. all-season tires to help you make the best decision for your driving needs.

Summer vs. all-season tires: which is right for you?

Choose according to your needs

Before even considering whether you'll go with all-seasons, it's important to first find out if winter tires are legally required in your province – such as in Quebec, which mandates having four winter tires on your vehicle from December 15th to March 15th.

  • Knowing you'll have to buy and install winter tires come the snowy season means it only makes sense to buy summer tires.

However, if you have the option, ask yourself some key questions before speaking with a tire specialist including:

  • How many kilometres do I drive each year?
  • What type of terrain do I find myself driving on most often: countryside, city, mountains, highways or secondary roads?
  • What type of driver am I: sporty or regular?
  • What is of greater importance: performance, durability or security?
  • What is my budget for tires?

Know what to ask the specialist

  • Are the tires noisy?
  • Under what conditions are the tires most effective: dry surfaces, wet surfaces, curves, on gravel?
  • What determines the price point?

Summer tires (or performance tires)

Benefits:

  • More effective when braking
  • Perfect for sporty driving—they respond well to changing direction, including handling curves
  • They grip the road better
  • They respond well in both wet and dry road conditions

Disadvantages

  • They are often more expensive than other types of tires
  • They are noisy, which may bother some drivers
  • The ride is less comfortable

All-season tires

Benefits

  • More durable and resistant than summer tires
  • Provide a more comfortable ride
  • Often very quiet
  • Have the best quality to price ratio on the market and are among the most affordable high-quality tires

Disadvantages

  • They are not really 'four seasons', but rather three seasons—as soon as the temperature drops below 7 °C, or if  there is more than a trace of snow on the ground, they lose their grip
  • They have a slower response and a longer braking distance
  • Some are more vulnerable to hydroplaning

When choosing all-season tires, always go for good quality.

Don’t forget

  • Regardless of the tires you select, all four must be identical. Never mix and match summer tires with all-seasons.
  • To extend the lifespan of any tire, it is recommended to ride a distance of 80 kilometres at a speed of 80 km/h. This will help the tires adapt to the rims, much like breaking in a new pair of shoes to make them more comfortable.
  • Ensure that you check the air pressure regularly. Whether over-inflated or under-inflated, improper tire pressure will wear your tires out prematurely.

Your tires are the main point of contact with the road, so be sure to choose the best set according to your needs and budget. Once you've bought them, protect this important purchase and maximize their lifespan by following routine maintenance procedures.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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