Alfa Romeo Tire Center in Akron, OH
All-Season VS Winter VS Summer Tires
At least when it comes to driving on public roads, seasonal weather is a major contributor to how your tires function. Because of this, there are three major styles of seasonal tires. Summer tires are designed to hold up to hot road surfaces, and are generally made with stickier compounds and shallower tread for better grip in good conditions. Winter tires are made with deep treads, to better channel snow and slush away and ensure maximum grip. They are made from compounds that will remain flexible in cold temperatures.
All-season tires exist as a compromise between the other two. They will handle snow reasonably well without compromising summer handling. Changing out tires with the season might be the best way to always maximize grip, but all-season tires provide a good and cost-effective compromise.
Run Flat Tires
Nobody likes having to change a flat tire, and including a spare with a vehicle increases that vehicle’s cost and weight. Run flat tires were developed to get around these problems by making it possible to drive on them even when they aren’t inflated. They work a lot like a temporary spare, in that you can drive at a limited speed over a limited distance on one. All of this convenience is great and all, but it does come at a price. The reason you can drive on run flat tires without air in them is because of their incredibly stiff sidewalls. This stiffness translates into a stiff ride as well, something to consider if you live somewhere with less-than-perfect roads.
There is a lot of overlap between the definition of a summer tire and a performance tire, but they aren’t quite identical enough that we don’t need another section. Street-legal performance tires, and especially OEM performance tires, aren’t quite as varied as the incredibly specific tires made for motorsports. Nobody is expecting you to get out and change all of your tires just because it started raining, after all. Performance tires are built to withstand incredible heat and stress produced during intense driving, all while delivering a maximum of grip. The tradeoff here is that they tend not to have the longest lifespan, something to keep in mind when performing maintenance on your performance vehicle.