All-Season vs. Summer Tires - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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All-Season vs. Summer Tires

I have no experience with a summer tire. Every vehicle I have ever owned got all-season tires. My Solstice came to me two years ago with some all-season Yokohamas that are due to be replaced. I've been happy with them.

As I'm searching for my next set of tires the options are mind boggling. There are a few A/S option in my price range, but there are a bunch of Summer tires coming up as well at a decent price that I'm tempted to try.

I live in the mountains. We get some rain but not alot. We got over 7 feet of snow this winter which is about average. I park my car around the beginning of Nov. and don't bring it back out of storage until the end of April so I miss most of the wintery weather anyway. But you never know when you get caught by snow out of season (we had two snow storms over an inch in May) or other adverse weather.

My question is: How limiting is a summer tire if I go that route? I'm not looking for a brand recommendation. I want to know if a summer tire is so awesome in the summer it's worth the degraded performance in foul weather. I want to know how bad they are when they turn bad. Or are they not worth the risk and just stick with all-season? How different is a summer tire from all-season, really?

Chris

"Sunny" - '08 Brazen Orange 2.4 Auto... 7660 feet up in the mountains
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 11:30 AM
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You may want to look at "Ultra High Performance" (UHP) all-seasons. Not quite as good on dry roads or the track as Summer-only tires, but as good or better in the wet and far better in the cold/snow.

One such are the Continental DWS tires, but there are a number of others. You can search on Tire Rack's site Or Discount Tire Direct for options and reviews.

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 11:46 AM
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The biggest concern with summer-only tires is not snow, it is cold. The rubber composition in summer-only tires does not do well in cold, and you will start noticeably losing grip below 50F.
I have recently read that even rolling a car on summer-only tires when they are 30F or below can irreparably damage them.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 12:23 PM
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Building on what John said
Summer tires are compounded to run in HOT conditions. The rubber is at its best when its a hot day and you are running at good speeds. When it gets cold, they can lose their grip as they get very hard and much less flexible.

Winter tires are designed to retain their flexibility under very cold conditions.

So you don't want to run winter tires in the summer as it will cause premature wear (and in extreme cases they can "melt" when they get really hot) Conversely you don't want to run summer tires in cold conditions.

The other consideration is the speed rating. As the speed rating goes up, the composition of the tire tends to become more flexible so it can deal with the increased heat. VR rated summer tires are very good in hot conditions and can deal with the heat generated at high speeds. they turn to crap in the cold.

Any "all season" tire is a compromise. In order to perform in hot and cold conditions, they tend to be not great at either very high temps or very low temps, but work OK at both extremes. They are "good" at moderate temperatures.

Winter only tires have tread that is optimized for gripping ice and that cleans itself out of snow and mud. They generally have a lot of voids that are deep and flexible when cold. They can become very flexible when hot.

Summer only tires on the other hand need not deal with ice or snow, but are designed to put as much rubber on the hot pavement as possible while not loosing all performance when it gets rainy. So they are a compromise between increased contact with the ground and getting rid of water. But their tread does not have to deal with snow or mud and only operates at high temperatures.

When you try to build a "universal" tire, all temps and all conditions, you give up somewhere to gain performance across the spectrum of conditions and temperatures.

You can do some research and find "high performance all season" tires that will probably be biased toward mostly driving in dry or rainy conditions but don't fall on their face if you run into snow. My Blizzaks are freaking awesome in ice and snow but are like dancing with snow shoes in the summer. A "winter tire" that works in the summer may be biased more toward winter conditions but not totally crap out in the summer.

If you have an all season tire that works for you, then get some more of them and enjoy the ride.

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 06:07 PM
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I will second (or third) the idea of a high performance all season for your uses. The one set I've run before offered a noticable handling improvement over an all season, with minimal risk if you're caught in rain or colder temperatures. They were still useless in ice and slush the one time we got an early surprise snow. (My 165hp AWD Subaru would break 'em loose in second gear.)

And while it's important to take care of very aggressive summer only tires to prevent cold cracking, the cracking only really occurs if they are flexed while frozen, and there is plenty of safety factor in the manufacturer minimum temperatures for anything that is DOT approved for the general consumer. Here in Michigan we regularly autoX and track day in April and October when ambient is in the high thirtys without issue, and the Rolex 24 is regularly contested at similar temps on even more aggressive compounds.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 10:18 AM
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CycleCat, I see from other posts that you chose to go with the Riken Raptors.

I believe you made a good choice. I have no complaints at all about mine. They are a good quality, inexpensive, Michelin off-shoot.

My guess is you went with the UHP All Seasons. Too bad the Summers are no longer available in our size.

I bounced around with tire pressure to find the "best feel," and finally went with the door panel recommendation of 30 psi all the way around.

So, are they meeting your expectations?


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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 02:03 PM
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My coupe is due for new shoes. She still has the originals on her. They are in great shape with only 12,000 miles on them but 10 years old. I was thinking of getting summer tires as she only comes out to play from April to October. She does not see winter. That said she is stored in underground parking lot or storage unit that is not heated. Will summer tires be ok when parked for the winter?

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bama View Post
CycleCat, I see from other posts that you chose to go with the Riken Raptors.

My guess is you went with the UHP All Seasons.

So, are they meeting your expectations?

Yup UHP all-season. I'm not that aggressive a driver and they have been fine for me. I'm actually driving harder than I usually do to find their limits (and haven't yet!). I'm also running about 30 PSI. At ~$100 per tire I'm quite satisfied!

Chris

"Sunny" - '08 Brazen Orange 2.4 Auto... 7660 feet up in the mountains
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Sol View Post
My coupe is due for new shoes. She still has the originals on her. They are in great shape with only 12,000 miles on them but 10 years old. I was thinking of getting summer tires as she only comes out to play from April to October. She does not see winter. That said she is stored in underground parking lot or storage unit that is not heated. Will summer tires be ok when parked for the winter?
You can destroy summer-only tires if the rubber is flexed when they are below 20F, (some say 40F). How sure can you be that there will be no movement when they are cold?

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 03:27 PM
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Will summer tires be ok when parked for the winter?
As cold as it probably gets where you live, I'd be a bit paranoid to leave them on the car during winter. Below 40F they can get iffy, and below 25F it's not good to even roll them or put air in them. In your case I'd suggest storing them in a heated environment either unmounted or on a separate set of wheels.

Tire Rack says this: It is not recommended to drive on these types of tires at temperatures below 40 degrees F (5 degrees C).

It is recommended these types of tires be stored indoors at temperatures maintained at above 20 degrees F (-7 degrees C) when not in use.


You can fine the complete article here: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiret...jsp?techid=220 along with more info on storing UHP summer tires.

I store mine, individually wrapped in plastic, over winter, and although the storage area is unheated, it doesn't get near as cold as where you are.

Although, like CycleCat, except in rain or on grass, I haven't pushed my All Seasons to the point they break loose - and I've tried a couple of times (without being completely stupid). I thought the All Seasons would let go, but they haven't.

I also couldn't get the Summers to break loose on dry pavement. Keep in mind my Solstice is the NA 2.4. One time I kicked it so hard in a parking lot I almost tossed the wife out the passenger side! I still have a bruise where she hit me! (But the car stuck like glue!)

There is a definite difference between All Seasons and Summers (even using the same brand). My Solstice just "feels more planted" on the road with the summer tires, even in casual driving.
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 03:32 PM
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When our group (MKC) went to W. Virginia last fall (October) for a week, the weather and temperature was on the cold side, with rain off and on. Both of my cars (06 conv. and 09 coupe) had Ultra High Summer performance tires (directional) with about 22,000 miles on the tires. Well there was a few times when I lost traction on the 06 with the coldest and rain.
Replaced the tires on both cars with All Season High Performance this spring. So far I'm happy with these tires (General G-Max AS-05).
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 09:02 PM
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I’m super happy with my Continental DWS extreme contact tires that I have on both my Solstices.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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I was going to buy the Contis and decided at the last minute to get the Rikens. I had a bunch of other bills and saving $300 was a good thing.

Chris

"Sunny" - '08 Brazen Orange 2.4 Auto... 7660 feet up in the mountains
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 12:16 AM
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I just bought a set of the Falken Performance All Season tire. I had them on the FJ and Canyon and really liked them. The wife has a Redline with what she calls the worst tires in the world, the forum standard Michelin Super Sports. She love the Falkens, but only has a few miles on them. Need a couple of months to truly know how good they are. Not truly comparing apples to apples as the daily driver is an NA. She hardly drives the Redline because the tires are so bad on the freeway. Our freeways are bad, but you do not notice it with the Falkens, so far or with the Bridgestone RE 71R's I have on the yellow car.

Hey Cat, heading to the San Juan's next month to do some off roading with friends. Will be in Telluride for a couple of weeks it looks like. If you have some free time, come on up. I know Rob the Elder is trying to get down to put some miles on his new Tacoma. Leap peeping will be the main idea, but Black Bear, Imogene and Poughkeepsie will be in the mix I am sure.
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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I just bought a set of the Falken Performance All Season tire. I had them on the FJ and Canyon and really liked them.
[SNIP]
Hey Cat, heading to the San Juan's next month to do some off roading with friends. Will be in Telluride for a couple of weeks it looks like. If you have some free time, come on up. I know Rob the Elder is trying to get down to put some miles on his new Tacoma. Leap peeping will be the main idea, but Black Bear, Imogene and Poughkeepsie will be in the mix I am sure.
I have Falken Wild Peaks on my Chevy S-10 4x4 and love them. We have them on a work truck that we take up the mountain all the time and they worked well so I bought them for my own truck.

I'd love to hit some of those trails with you guys but we will be in Holland for two weeks next month seeing my wife's family and I've got no more time to take off. Ski season is right around the corner!

Chris

"Sunny" - '08 Brazen Orange 2.4 Auto... 7660 feet up in the mountains
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