We've all been there. Time to give the car a tune-up with some new tires. Pretty easy and straight-forward, buy whichever tires the shop recommends, right?
Not so fast.
You might be missing out on savings, especially if you live in Florida where there is only one season...summer!
If you check your current set of tires, I bet you have "M&S"/all-season tires. The "M" stands for "mud" and "S" stands for "snow.”
We know it rains in South Florida, but when was the last time you had to drive through mud or snow to get to work or do your errands? My guess is: never.
I grew up in Germany where there are distinct seasons. Everyone has two separate sets of tires, summer and winter.
When I realized that I needed new tires after only getting 35,000 miles out of my first set of tires (of course, I drive an SUV and they need new tires more frequently), I asked my car dealership to give me a quote on summer tires. When I looked at the quotes carefully, there wasn't a single summer tire that showed up on the list!
I left the dealership determined to do some research. My idea was to get summer tires since we have warm weather here year-round. Why?
- Summer tires are quieter and provide a smoother ride.1
- The shallower, straighter grooves in summer tires result in more stability during cornering, braking and acceleration.1
- They provide maximum road-holding grip, so the car has better traction on rainy roads in higher temperatures (above 44°F).2,3
- Summer tires have less rolling resistance which translates to more fuel efficiency.4
So why wouldn't I get summer tires? Perhaps if I were planning on taking a car trip to someplace that experiences temperatures colder than 44°F. In addition, some sources say summer tires feature lower tread wear ratings, meaning they’ll need replacing sooner.5
After 25,000 miles, there is practically no tread wear on my summer tires. They look great. I’ll be sticking with summer tires from now on.
Of course, the bottom line is the best tires for your car depend on more than just the weather. Do a little research and speak to your mechanic before buying your next set of tires. You might be surprised by what deals you can find once you know your options!