Summer tyres vs all season tyres

  • Author: OPONEO.IE

Summer and all-season tyres

Summer tyres have been designe for applying to weather conditions from fall to spring.Summer tyreuse is limited due to the temperatures:the traction is lost once the temperature falls below 7 degrees.

All-season tyres are multi-purpose tyres that carry the combined characteristics both of summer and winter tyres. Joining these characteristics has always been a big difficulty. Every tyreis a compromise of the performance which has to meet the users’ expectations. The more varied the conditions are the harder it gets to get a compromise.


All-season tyres vs summer tyres.Left: all-season tire, right: summer tire.

All season tyres vs summer tyres – differences between them

Summer and all-season tyres are different between themselves in tread pattern, mixture of rubber compounds and form.

The tread on all-season tyrehas more sipes than on summer ones. The sipes are designed for providing better driving on snow-covered road. But too many sipes on thread can result in a lose of tyrestiffness. This affects the grip to the surface negatively: braking action and traction on both dry and wet road surfaces get worse.

Both all-season and summer tyres can be divided into three possible types: symmetrical, asymmetrical and directional.

Directional patterns in all-season tyres has explicitly determined of some specific parts of the tread. Summer functions are carried out by the edge with less sipes; more sipes on the cental part of thread provide a good grip in the winter time.

All-season tyres of asymmetrical tread patterns enables the tyreto apply to be driven in summer and winter. It can be told by different patterns depending on the different sides of the tread. As a rule, road-sided part of tread, much richer in sipes, carries the characteristics for summer driving.


All season tyres vs summer tyres.  An all-season tyrecan be easily told by different pattern depending on central and edge part.

Mixture of rubber compounds applied in all-season tyres are designated to provide a properly high performance in the temperatures below and above zero. The rubber compound in summer tyres has been designed to provide a good efficiency only in temperature above 7 degrees. Once temperature rises  the all-season tyres cannot equal the performance of specialized of summer tyres.

The shape of the tyrebears down to the outline of its cross-section. When you look at the tyrestraight-on you will notice this outline. Via this outline it can be told which size we have to do with, how to match a proper grip etc.

The contour of a summer tyreis more rounded in shape which provides the lowered rolling resistance and improved grip in summer setting. All-season tyrefeatures more massive and square outline. It bears a strong resemblance to a winter tire. Good grip of the all-season tyregoes with higher wearing-off rate of the tread and fuel consumption in the summer.

What are the symbols on sidewall of summer and all-season tyres?

Summer tyres don’t feature any special marking relating to the season of their application.

All-season tyres can be told by M+S (mud and snow) marking. This symbol is used on all-season tyres from US which are purchased in Europe. In Europe all-season tyres marking bears a strong resemblance to winter tyres and are featured with the following symbol: tri-peak mounting with snowflake engraved on a sidewall. An all-season tyrebears also the words “ALL SEASON” which is written next to these symbols. Some tire-producing company use their own, auxiliary marking to show that their tyrecan be used for all year long and in various weather conditions.

All-season tyres are marked M+S (mud and snow).This is a marking used on all-season tyres for American market.In Europe, all-season tyres are closer to the winter tyres and are marked with a tri-peak and a snowflake.An all-season tyre often has the words ALL SEASON written next to these symbols.Some manufacturers use their own, additional symbols to show that their tyre can be used all year round, in various weather conditions.


All season tyres vs summer tyres.  Symbols present on all-season tyres.

All season tyres vs summer tyres tests-summary

All-season tyres are more often compared in tests to winter tyres than to summer tyres. Tests (such as AiAC or AutoBild) have proved that all-season tyres are estimated lower than good seasonal tyres; in the meantime good all-season tyres are often better than the cheapest seasonal tyres (like Chinese products).

Generally, all season tyres are estimated lower than good summer tyres. This feature can be easily proved via dry performance tests; it relates to both braking and operation categories (for examples in the 2009 AutoBild tests of 205/55R16 tire). Tread patterns and rubber compounds are the main of reason why summer tyres are better in comparison with all-season tyres.

A couple of all-season models such as Vredestein Quatrac 3 or Dunlod SP4 All Season have proved their value in wet surface tests, especially in the tests relating to aquaplaning category. Even if they are worse than good summer tyres they may be tertiary to vast number of lower-class items (it applies to the cheapest Chinese brands).

Advantages of using all-season tyres

All-season tyres should provide an apprioprate level of efficiency all year long especially with the moderate operating. With all-season tyres mounted to your car you will be prepared for unpredicted ground frost in spring or snow-storm. Their ability to run on different road surfaces is said to be their main advantage.

All-season tyres also don’t need to be change therefore you don’t have to visit service center so frequently. This is a good way to save time and money but remember instead of that to offset your wheels from time to time.

All-season tyres manufactured by a reputed brand and featuring a good quality. This solution is reasonable if you drive less than 5-6 thousands km per year and drive mostly in the city.

Why? Driving short distances around the city limits you will not wear off your winter/summer tyres to the limit of treads. Such tyres will wear off much faster and will not be suitable to run them. Keep that in mind that roads around any city are relatively good to ride on them. It is more reasonable to substitute a total set of all-season tyres after using it 4-5 years or after 40 thousand km driven than to use the same set of summer and winter tyres interchangeable for the 10-year period.

Summer tyres advantages

The most beneficial issue of using summer tyres is the performance specifications. This feature is undisputed. Tyres have a basic influence on your car’s safety. All tyres have to meet some compromises relating to technical specifications. The all-season tyres have to unite characteristics of the seasonal tyres.


All season tyres vs summer tyres.  Tread of summer tyrepresented in the picture.

When the best summer tyres to the best all-season tyres the summer ones are undisputedly better on dry and wet roads. They provide better braking action, operating and grip to the road surface, higher convenient and lower noise level consuming less fuel at the same time.

Summer tyres features also longer lifespan than all-season tyres. The lifespan is crucial while driving bigger mileages. Furthermore, all-season tyres are much expensive than summer tyres among the same class or from the same manufacturer.

As an owner of midrange or high-range vehicle you are obliged to purchase summer tyres. Only highly advanced summer tyres can deal with the performance and requirements of modern cars.

Which tyres should I choose? Summer or all-season?

Select summer tyres if you:

  • drive more than 5-6 thousand kilometres per year
  • drive mostly out of city limits or in various conditions (cities or motorways)
  • need top-rated safety
  • find convenient and quiet driving important
  • want your tyres to have the smallest influence on your fuel consumption
  • seek the tyres with bigger lifespan
  • drive dynamically

Select all-season tyres if you:

  • drive all-year on summer or winter tyres
  • drive no more than 5-6 thousand kilometres a year
  • drive in the city at most
  • drive in a calm way
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