What is an All-Weather Tire?

Have you heard of all-weather tires? They have just hit the roads the past few years. They are intended for colder climate areas that experience a full winter season. As any of us driving in the Chicagoland area know, the Chicago suburbs become full of terrible roads covered in snow and ice. We get scared about our children driving on them, and unfortunately many will experience an accident due to the inclement weather. 

While we may pride ourselves on being strong enough to handle freezing temperatures, it’s not easy for our tires to handle the same temperature swings we see from summer to winter. This large operating temperature window is what lead to the design and production of All-Season tires. We need a tire that won’t wear out quickly in the summer heat, but we also need a tire that can not only handle the cold of winter but also the snow and ice. All-Season tires came out with additives to help the rubber better handle seasonal temperature changes. But All-Season tires have always performed better in the summer than in winter. After years of testing and consumer feedback, the tire manufacturers realized it would be worth investing to develop a new tire segment to help us Northerners. 

Tire on Audi

What are All-Weather Tires?

All-weather tires are intended to give the same benefit as all-season tires; you can use the same tire all year long. And, they will now provide far better snow and ice traction along with great wet traction. These added features come from the physical design of the tire’s tread pattern and the additives used in the tire’s rubber. 

What additives are needed to create an all-weather tire? The hardest part in developing all-weather tires was the need to test and validate a rubber compound that could handle operation at say -10°F but also not wear away in a few thousand miles when driven in an 80°F environment. When it’s cold out the rubber needs to stay flexible. Tire manufacturers have developed many different compounds to help winter tires stay flexible. These highly engineered compounds are a large part of what gives winter tires their performance. Most manufacturers don’t reveal what chemical compound creates the best additives. 

What All-Weather Tires Should I Buy?

One all-weather tire that has proven excellent not only in testing but also from consumer feedback is Michelin’s Cross Contact 2. Michelin’s engineering developed a tire with a dramatic change to the tread design, tread sip configuration, and through chemical engineering pushed the limits of rubber additives. The Michelin Cross Climate 2 is truly a tire anyone in New Lenox and Steger, Illinois, or Schererville, Indiana can use all year round.

What all-weather tires give the Chicagoland area is safety. By decreasing the stopping distance on wet, icy, and snowy roads, tires like the Michelin Cross Climate 2 will help prevent vehicle collisions and the off-road adventures some find themselves on when they take a corner too fast and hit black ice. All-weather tires are not the cheapest option, but what they will always provide is a safe tire during all four seasons.

If you’re interested in all-weather tires, call or schedule an appointment at Scott’s U-Save today!

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