Vehicle Maintenance: Tires - Part 2b: Summer tires

As covered in part 2a of my tires article, there are several things to ocnsider when buying tires. For most people, an All-season tire will do everything they need in a tire. But, depending on the car, All-seasons might not be an option. For many sports cars, Summer Tires are original equipment. When it comes to selecting a Summer tire, there are a few different types.
First up, we have the Grand Touring Summer tires. Generally seen as a good seasonal upgrade from a standard Grand-Touring All-season tire, these tires tend to be a bit lower profile than their all-season counterparts. Many manufacturers use this type of tire as an Original equipment tire type because they offer much improved handling, steering response and speed capability than an All-season tire. While these tires are often very good on wet or dry roads, it isn't advised to use these, or any other Summer Tire in the snow, or temperatures colder than 45 degrees. Shown above are TireRack's tire models offered in this tire type.
Next up, we have the High-Performance Summer tire. Often characterized by their ability to deliver crisp turn-in, good handling and braking and decent speed capabilities. Still not advised to use these in the winter. Tire rack's offerings for this tire type are a bit slim, as you can see above.
Next, the Ultra-High-Performance Summer tire. These, like all summer tires, are not for use in temperatures below 45 degrees, which, obviously, includes ice and snow. These tires offer an upgraded level of performance from the High-Performance Summer tires. TireRack has a good selection of this type.


Next, the Max-Perdormance Summer tire. These offer the best Wet-or-dry performance of any other tire type in this article. Using a High-tech manufacturing process to develop the best possible tread pattern, the tires displace water well. They are good enough tires that many manufactuers of high-end cars (SuperCars) tend to use this type as a factory tire. These can get pricy, but if wet and dry traction on a road tire is what you need, it doesn't get much better.

Finally, we get to the Extreme Performance tire. These tires offer superb dry weather traction, but at the expense of wet-weather traction. Often characterized by large tread blocks, aggressive tread patterns and compounds and low treadwear ratings, this type is one level below a track-only tire. These tires are not reccommended for use in heavy rain, and absulutely never for winter driving, or any temperatures below 50 degrees.

stay tuned for the next segment: Winter Tires.

-Phil