Canadians know that when it comes to tires, they need to pay attention. When the weather changes, the right tires are important. Driving all year on winter tires will slow you down and cause excessive wear. Leaving your summer tires on in the winter can lead to a dangerous lack of traction on slick roads.

Beyond summer and winter tires, there are all season tires and all weather tires as well. The wide selection can leave you confused about which tires Toronto are best for your weather conditions and your vehicle. Very likely, your decision will come down to your local driving conditions. Also, consider how important it is for you to have full snow and ice coverage in the way of winter tires.

Have you been wondering about the difference between all season and all weather tires? Let’s learn about the differences between these two types of tires.

Seasonal use of tires

All season tires may do the trick for year-round use in milder climates, but for drivers in most parts of the country, they will need to be replaced for the winter months with quality winter tires. All-weather tires, on the other hand, are designed for both summer and winter conditions, meaning they don’t need to be changed or stored for part of the year.

Snow use of tires

When it comes to use in the snow, there is a clear distinction between all season and all-weather tires. While all season tires can lack enough traction on slick or snowy roads, all-weather tires have decidedly more grip. Most all-weather tires have the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol, which Transport Canada recognizes as a design built for snow conditions. While winter tires will always be your best bet for snow-covered roads, if you live in an area with limited snow in the winter, you may be comfortable with all-weather tires.

Part of living in Canada means managing a wide range of driving conditions. Having the right tires for the weather not only gives you more confidence, but also improves your safety on the road. With the introduction of all weather tires to the automotive market, you may be wondering about the difference between all season and all weather tires.

Tire tread patterns

If you’ve looked closely at the tread patterns on all season and winter tires, you’ve likely noticed a big difference. All season tires are narrower, with a smoother, relatively straight tread pattern. Winter tires tend to be bigger and softer, with a blocky, highly grooved tread.

The winter design allows tires to remain more flexible in cold temperatures. An all-weather tire uses a hybrid approach to its tread, giving them the appearance of a cross between an all season and winter tire.

Tire performance

With their hybrid design, all-weather tires take the middle road in performance. Studies show that all-weather tires tend to outperform all season tires, by stopping sooner on both wet and dry pavement.

Naturally, they outperform all season tires even further on winter roads. When comparing all-weather with winter tires, however, there is little comparison. Winter tires easily out-perform other varieties in the cold temperatures and through snowy conditions.

Tire material composition

Naturally, with different overall goals, the material composition of all season and all-weather tires differs, too. All-weather tires are made to withstand a wide range of temperatures. They contain rubber compounds, similar to those found in winter tires.

In addition, these tires are made with sturdier materials, so they can withstand the heat of summer driving. As a result of this combination, all-weather tires tend to have a shorter life span.

Tire rim requirements

Much like all season tires, all-weather tires fit on the original rims of your car. While winter tires need a separate set of rims, the fit of all-weather tires provides a cost advantage for two reasons. First, there is no need to buy a second set of rims, and second, the existing tire pressure sensors can be used, avoiding extra costs for this important safety feature.

Tire replacement frequency

There are two primary reasons that all-weather tires need to be replaced more frequently than all season tires. First, all-weather tires are designed for use year-round, where all seasons are typically swapped out for winter tires once the colder months set in. Second, because all-weather tires are composed of both softer and more durable compounds, they wear out more steadily year-round.

Tire warrantee details

Given the material composition and replacement frequency differences between all season and all-weather tires, it is no surprise they tend to have different warranty lengths, as well. Many warrantees for all season tires are well above the 100,000-kilometre mark, while all-weather tires are usually well below that mark. Be sure to factor warrantee details into your research when comparing tire brands.

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