As temperatures climbs higher, you may be thinking about summer maintenance for your car. This is a good time to check your tires, so they’re ready for any vacations or long road trips. You may also have heard about switching to summer tires as it gets hotter outside. However, before you make the switch, consider the following information about summer tires.
What are summer tires?
Summer tires tend to have softer rubber that’s meant to improve traction in warm weather. They have a better grip on dry or wet roads. In general, summer tires have a shallower and softer tread, which gives them more contact with the road’s surface.
When you drive on summer tires, you may notice a difference. First, you may feel more potholes and other bumps on the road since the tires grip better. Second, it may be easier to turn corners or brake because the car may feel more stable. Again, this is caused by the tires gripping the surface of the road better.
How do summer tires compare to other tires?
In general, tires can be classified as summer, winter, or all-season. Compared to winter and all-season tires, summer tires have shallower grooves and softer treads. Summer tires may also have a solid rib running down their center or an asymmetrical tread pattern. On the other hand, all-season and winter tires usually have deeper grooves and symmetrical tread patterns.
Summer tires tend to cost more than all-season or winter ones. Some drivers also complain that they’re less comfortable to drive on since you feel every bump in the road. Moreover, that can also make them noisier. You also have to keep in mind that summer tires have the shortest tread life.
Do you need summer tires?
To determine if you need summer tires, consider your car type, driving conditions, and climate. Although any vehicle can get summer tires, they’re usually more common for performance cars, which are designed for speed. You can switch to summer tires for your minivan, but you may not see as many benefits as someone who switches the tires on their convertible.
Summer tires are meant for warmer climates. If you’re fortunate to live in an area with summer weather all year, you may be able to use them all the time. However, most people in the U.S. experience four seasons, so they may only be able to use them for a couple of months a year.