Vehicle Maintenance 101: Tires part 2a: All-Season Tires

Here is part 2a of my tire series. I'd say it's just part 2, but because there are several categories in this subject, I'll start with All-Season tires, as they are the most common. As the name suggests, All-Season tires are meant to be used in all 4 seasons in warmer climates where the temps rarely drop below 45 degrees.
As you might have noticed on my previous tire post, I like, and am in no way sponsored by, TireRack.com. That being said, I'll be starting with the lowest level of passenger car tire, the Passenger All-Season type. These tires are just a basic tire, usually seen as a low-dollar budget tire. These tires usually have relatively high aspect ratios (60 - 75), and have fairly low speed ratings (Usually under 110 mph). Generally, Passenger All-Season tires have a higher mileage rating than more performance oriented tires. Manufacturers say these tires do well in occasional light snow.. Shown above are the tire models offered in a Passenger All-season on TireRack.

Next up are the Standard Touring All-Season tires. These are commonly used as an Original-Equipment tire on many economy cars. The Standard toruing tire is generally seen as an upgrade from a Passenger tire. Generally classified by it's long wear life, smooth and quiet ride and low price. Much like the Passenger tires, the speeds are limited. They should do alright in occasional light snow. Shown above are what TireRack offers.
Here, we see the Grand Touring all Seasons. Typically, these tires are rated for higher speeds than a Standard touring or passenger tire. Generally, Grand Toruing tires are advertised to have a smooth and quiet ride, long life tread and nice handing repsonse. These are generally used on a wide variety of midsize sedans and crossovers as an OE tire. Much like any All-season tire, Grand Tourings are good for occasional light snow.
Next up: the Performance All Season. As you can see, the selection from TireRack is far more limited than all of the other types. Generally seen as an upgrade from the previous tire types, these are used as an OE tire on a few cars. This tire generally offers better cornering grip, more precise handling, and shoerter braking distances.

The High Performance All Season tire. Generally, these tires perform well on dry pavement or wet surfaces without standing water. They tend to offer better handling, steering response and shorter braking distances over the Performance All Season.




Ultra High Performance All-Season tires will offer the best handing, braking and dry traction of any All Season tire, but with a much lower treadwear rating. UHPAS tires generally offer lower aspect ratios (35 - 50) than the other types. These tires generally have great wet and dry traction, but don't do so well in temperatures under 45 degrees fahrenheit.

Check back soon for parts 2b, 2c and 2d.

-Phil.