Re: Yet another tire question - This time regarding winter driving
Here's an article I found on summer tires and the difference of winter. It's says what I said earlier but much more completely.
Tread patterns and compounds vary among the seasonal tire types, and summer performance tires are different than winter and all-season types. Their tread does have grooves intended to shed water and prevent hydroplaning, but the main goal is to maximize the surface area that contacts the pavement, so the channels are narrower and often shallower. For the same reason, grip on dry surfaces tends to increase with wear, even with all-season tires.
The main goal of performance tires is to maximize the surface area that contacts the pavement.
Also crucial to performance-tires' traction are the rubber compounds, which are softer than all-seasons and better able to mold into the pavement's rough texture. The tradeoff is lower treadwear ratings and a shorter lifespan. Soft compounds might sound similar to winter tires, but the chemistry is wildly different: Winter tires are softer at sub-freezing temperatures, but they're too soft at higher temps. Summer tires are soft when it's warm but go hard as a rock in low temps, blowing the traction advantage they'd had on dry and wet pavement and making them downright dangerous on ice and snow. All-wheel drive won't save a car equipped with summer tires in a winter storm.
To provide the sharp steering response and higher grip desired by sport-driving enthusiasts — as well as the large-wheel appearance — summer performance tires come mostly in low-profile sizes. The tradeoffs here are many. A main one is ride quality, which gets firmer as sidewalls get shorter, all other things being equal. Both this and issues of construction make some performance tires very noisy. One exception is the noise the tires make — or don't make — when they lose traction. Where all-season tires might squeal as the car starts to slide, summer tires tend to be more discreet.
With low-series tires also comes higher risk of wheel or even suspension damage: The tire is less able to absorb hard shocks, and that means the rim and suspension components do, along with the driver's spine. Low-profile tires put the wheels closer to the ground, which exposes them to damage when parking along a curb. With normal tires, the sidewall absorbs any contact and typically rebounds unscathed.
If you're still not sure that any of the three tire choices meets your needs, you're in luck. The lines have blurred to a degree never seen before. There are now ultra-high- as well as high-performance summer tires, all-season performance tires and winter performance tires. The capabilities of all-season tires now stretch well into performance levels once known only to winter and summer tires. You can't get everything you want in any one tire, but you can get more than ever. Returning to the sedan analogy, luxury sport sedans are actually excellent performers — in addition to being roomy and luxurious — and some even come with all-wheel drive, which suits them better for winter driving. You can get a tire that has above-average performance in many areas, too, but just like the sport sedan, the more you get, the more it's gonna cost you.
2002 Z06 Black on Black