Talk Shop / The Basics / What is an all-weather tire?

What is an all-weather tire?
What is an all-weather tire?

Rain is not a season in North America. Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. It rains or snows in every single one of them. In the mainland U.S., there’s enough precipitation to cover the 48 contiguous states to a depth of 30 inches—that’s the equivalent of about 1,430 cubic miles of water each year.

All-season tires are developed to perform all year round in MODERATE climates. But moderate is the key word. There is some general misconception about the ability of all-season tires, which are designed to offer impressive grip on both summer and winter roads and good braking performance on dry and wet roads. However, they are not a replacement to winter tires that are specifically tailored to the conditions in places that experience cold winters and seasonal conditions like snow and ice, which all-season tires were not designed for.

Enter the All-Weather tire!

If you live where it snows, you’re usually faced with a choice: avoid the roads when conditions exceed the capabilities of your all-season tires or buy a set of dedicated winter tires for the winter season. Keeping those winter tires on all year long is not recommended and will significantly reduce the tires treadlife.

The General Tire AltiMAX 365 AW rubber is engineered to handle not just a season on the calendar, but all-weather—that’s what the “AW” stands for—365 days a year.   

A three-peak mountain snowflake on the sidewall means the tire meets required performance snow testing criteria to be considered severe snow service-rated.

Superior treadwear is what makes the AltiMAX 365 AW long lasting on wet and dry roads. The stable longitudinal shoulder blocks provide excellent grip transfer when braking. And the regular distribution of sipes in the tread helps the blocks retain their stiffness, leading to even wear and high mileage.

VAI means “Visual Alignment Indicator.” The indicators appear on specific sipes three times around the circumference of the tire on each tread shoulder. If the sipes of the VAI wear off differently, it means there is potential misalignment of the wheels. Keeping an eye on this can extend the life of the tire.

When it’s wet, the wide circumferential and lateral grooves make for rapid water evacuation from the contact patch when driving. For safe driving in winter, V-shaped blocks in the center of the tread—specially designed for all-year use—offer a large number of biting edges. And these tires build up necessary grip for braking in typical wintry road conditions.

In the end, the AltiMAX 365 AW combines ride comfort, low-noise, dry, wet, snow handling, and excellent treadwear, so now you just need one set of tires for the whole year, rain or shine … or snow.

You Might Also Like
TIRE 101