4 Tips To Choose The Right Summer Tires
Summer is almost here! Warm weather lies ahead, but there's more to do before you can begin to celebrate. Driving on winter tires through the snowy season is the safe and responsible thing to do, but it also means that your car needs new shoes once summer rolls along. Ditching your winter rubber for new summer tires can be daunting, but these four tips will get you on your way.
1. Know Your Environment
Most tire ratings cover both dry and wet conditions. While winter tires often excel on wet roads, summer tires can present a more mixed bag. Some high-performance tires may offer excellent grip on dry pavement, but come up short in the rain. If you live in an area that sees frequent rainstorms, then be sure to select a tire that works well in adverse weather conditions.
2. Know Your Usage
Are your tires going onto a daily driver, an old beater, or a garage queen? How you use your car and how often it hits the road should influence your tire purchasing decisions. For daily drivers, you'll want summer tires that offer excellent all-weather performance and reasonably long tread-life. For a vehicle that spends more time in the garage, you may be able to sacrifice longevity for performance.
Of course, you'll also want to consider more intense activities. If you attend track days or autocross events, then you'll want to focus more on performance over other characteristics. For mixed-use cars, it's often a good idea to keep an entirely separate set of tires for track use. Having two sets can help to prevent your daily use tires from wearing out too quickly.
3. Know Your Noise Tolerance
Unfortunately, high-performance summer tires tend to come with two significant downsides: tread life and road noise. While exceptions do exist, you may pay more for tires that offer exceptional grip and noise isolation. If you find road noise to be particularly bothersome, then consider stepping down to a lower performance model. This tradeoff will often be worth it if you are not an aggressive driver.
4. Know Your Budget
Finally, know your budget for new tires. Since you're only using them for about half the year, most summer tires will last at least 2-3 full seasons. When selecting a set, keep that lifespan in mind when looking at price points. A tire with better tread life offers better value for the same money but may cost you a bit more upfront.
Like any other tire decision, choosing the best summer tires means understanding how you use your car. If you aren't sure, then speaking with a reputable tire dealer can help you to arrive at a set of tires that's perfect for you.