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I hate "all-seasons", should I buy all-seasons?

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by Deutsch Marques, Mar 11, 2011.

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    Deutsch Marques

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    I've always been an advocate of running summer tires in the nice 9 months of the year, and winter tires in the winter. I have Toyo Observe winter tires on the OEM 16" wheels now (Passat daily driver). The 18" wheels are going on in a few weeks (hopefully) but the Toyo T1Rs on them are shot and I need replacements.

    The T1Rs are great summer tires. Beautiful handling and lots of grip. At the expense of low tread life, noise and stiff ride. I have T1Rs on the M3, which is a nice weather only car, and I don't plan to change that. However, I've been thinking that maybe I don't really need the high-performance summer-only tires on my daily driver.

    Family and my favorite tire shops are all recommending the Toyo Versado, which is an all-season premium touring tire. I'd gain tread life, comfort and low noise at the expense of balls-out grip and handling. Plus I could run them deeper into fall and earlier in the spring without worry of the rogue inch or two of snow. I would still run dedicated winter tires on the 16" wheels for the winter season.

    On the other hand, I've always felt "all-season" tires sucked year round. They are a compromise for each type of driving (dry, wet, snow, etc.) and not really good at anything. And If I'm going to put winter tires on anyway in the winter, then why should I run all-seasons in the summer.

    Thoughts? I'm sure I'm over-analyzing this... so I'm looking for someone elses perspective.
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    steven s

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    I think it's either different tires for different seasons or different cars for different seasons.

    I'm a Toyo fan and have a set of T1Rs on my ti.
    That being said, I don't generally drive it when it's below 40. And would never drive it if I expected snow.

    My E30 has all-seasons. I use it to get back and forth to work. It's a trade off like all all-seasons are.

    My wife's MINI has all season run flats and a set of snows.
    For the first time in 4 years I installed the snows in SC.

    I would have 2 sets of tires.
    One Z rated and another good snows tires that is a compromise between snow, ice and cold.
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    John in VA

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    All-season tires are getting better, but are still called "no-season" for a reason!
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    Brian A

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    My 318i lives a bi-polar life. It is both my track car and my daughter's commuter car. I have two sets of wheels. For my daughter, the car is shod in all-seasons. They are durable and cheap.

    The surprise is that the all-seasons are great fun on the street since you can bring the rear end out easier, hear what they are doing better and are much more gradual in the way they slip compared to my track tires. ... not that I have tried any of this or anything.
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    STR86

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    Eric:

    You already have a spare set of wheels and winter tires? The only reason I can imagine getting all-seasons for an M3 that already has winters is for cross country tours where you might be in the mountains in rain or snow and cold temps as well as hot interstates at lower altitudes on the same trip.

    I wouldn't put A/S touring tires on an M3 myself unless all its use is pedestrian drive to work sort of stuff. Even then, I love charging the odd exit ramp.

    Maybe some nice very high performance A/S would be OK.

    I've used Pirelli P6 FourSeasons on my daily driver and liked them enough to buy a second set.

    Also used the Michelin A/S and liked them a lot but they were expensive.

    I tried a set of Avon all seasons. They stuck like glue for the 1st 5,000 miles or so, then started to get really hard riding and noisy. By 10,000, they were making me so miserable I didn't care that they weren't worn enough to change and I replaced them. I notice Tire Rack no longer sells Avon tires.

    I currently have Conti ProContact A/S on my sedan with 18" wheels. Tire Rack rates these "Grand Touring All Season" They are OK but a little soft and vague for my tastes....Not bad enough to replace, but I like something with a slightly harder edge. I think the P6 4S would be better on my car. This car, whose brand shall remain unnamed, is used only for daily driving on public streets. No autocross or track.

    If you drive the car daily, is your biggest issue with it the ride and longevity? If so, a less aggressive summer tire might work for you better than the Toyo? Grand Touring Summer Tires on the Tire Rack website are candidates...or Ultra High Performance Summer Tires. Just stay away from the Max Performance tires and you should get a bit better ride and a cheaper price. My experience is that H rated tires ride better and are cheaper the V rated tires. If you don't need V for ultra high speed, save you money. Stay away from Tires like Bridgestone RE-11 and Toyo RA-1 if you want more ride comfort and longevity.

    Do you do driver's schools on these tires? You definitely do not want a A/S tire for that. Make sure any summer tire you have has a good, outside edge that won't chunk up during track use. RE-11 is a great choice for a summer tire with track ambitions...They aren't known for long wear and they aren't cheap either, but they stick and hold up to track temps and stresses well. The ride is acceptable for gear heads and track rats, but not great.

    www.tirerack.com is a great resource for tire decisions. They don't sell Toyo anymore either, however. You can put your car information in and it will tell you all the tires that come in the stock sizes or you can just graze the "Tires by Manufacturer" section. There are reviews on most tires and tire tests conducted by Tire Rack and others.

    Most local tire dealers buy their "good" tires from Tire Rack anyway, so if you check the website and find a couple you like, write it all down and go to the local store. They'll be happy to have a customer who actually knows what he wants!
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    Deutsch Marques

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    STR86, I think you misunderstood. The question is for my daily driver: my VW Passat wagon. The M3 has Toyo T1Rs and is only driven in good weather. No need to change those wheels/tires at any time.

    I was running T1Rs on the wagon's 18" wheels. Bought those before I had the M3. Now that I have a true sporty car (M3) I don't need to drive like I stole the wagon anymore :rolleyes: So that's why I began to contemplate the Toyo Versado for the wagon instead.

    I don't track or autocross either car. As I get older, I find that I want a more comfortable car for daily driving. And when I want to push it and have some fun, I can hop in the M3. But I'm also reluctant to break my own rules and buy mediocre "no-season" compromise tires.

    I'm familiar with Tire Rack, and have recommended them to many other people. But I'm a fan of Toyo and plan to stick with that brand.

    RBinDC guest

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    This is nonsense

    If you are totally into ultimate handling then obviously you won't be satisfied with all-seasons. However, my guess is that most Bimmer owners never push their cars hard enough to notice the difference and those that do will find that for everyday driving that difference is not very important.

    I just switched into the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus tire on my 335is. There is very little difference in performance or ride quality relative to the Michelin Pilot RFTs that I took off. To me it just isn't worth the time and expense to be switching wheels twice a year.
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    dms540i

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    Oh come on! You know which tire you want. But what is it, you think it's not WORTH it? What are you giving up? Cash that would be spent on vacations or put to better use on car repairs? Yikes. Sounds to me you've done the analysis and you know which tire you want. But others don't understand. I say stand your ground and buy the ones you want! Balls out all summer and damn the snowflakes! At least for now. Because this is America and we can! Before you know it it's time for another set anyway so if they aren't the greatest tires, well you'll get another chance soon enough.

    RBinDC guest

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    True. And if he goes with the "balls out" summer tires, the time to replace will come around a lot sooner.
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    Deutsch Marques

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    Well, I've got the balls out summer tires on the M3, which only sees dry and (usually) warm roads. I just had a set of the Toyo Versado touring all-seasons installed on the wagon yesterday.

    First impressions:
    - The Versado are a LOT quieter than my worn out T1Rs were!
    - The Versado are a LOT more comfortable
    - The Versado handle well, and are a good match for my Passat, but give up the high performance and feel "squishier"

    In the end, I'm happy. And my wife is happy. We've owned the wagon for 6 years, and back then dropping it with a sport suspension, 18" wheels and ultra-high performance tires was fine. In those 6 years, MA roads have gone to ****, we've gotten 6 years older, and the car was just getting too damn uncomfortable.

    I will still put winter tires on the 16" wheels come winter, as I will never trust an all-season to be as good on the snow and ice. And what I've given up in performance with the lux-touring tires I've gained in comfort and added tread life.

    alstroberg guest

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    That is normal..

    The Versado handle well, and are a good match for my Passat, but give up the high performance and feel "squishier"
    Replacing worn tires which have little tread (like your shaved racing slicks) with new ones with tall tread will always feel a little less connected. In two tanks of gas you will not notice the difference - except for the quiet.

    kwstandard guest

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    Take a look at these...

    I used to be the same way... After alot of reading, I purchased a set of Continental ExtremeContact DWS for my 550i MSport. They are "Ultra High Performance All Season" tires, whatever that means. Outstanding tires - not a huge change from the Summer Contis that came OEM on the car. I don't do alot of snow driving, but they do get unusually good snow reviews from those that do. Look 'em up - tire rack has them ranked as #1 on their survey.

    - Kelly
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    152531

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    Just for grins I took my commuter E34 540i with Conti Extreme DWS tires to a local track last summer (Blackhawk Farms) for some laps. With a lot of PCA members on the track, I got passed regularly, but the tires acquitted themselves pretty well. The tread channels are beveled to reduce squirm, and they carry a W-Y speed rating.

    They've also held up. They've got wear telltales ("D-W-S") molded into the rubber, and I've yet to wear through the first one (the S). The edges are worn a little after last summer, though. :D

    Did I mention that they're awesome in the rain?
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    STR86

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    DM: I think you've answered your own question here. You want Toyo and this car is relegated to milk-toast driving. Go with it. I liked my Pirelli Four Seasons. Toyo makes something in the same weight class, I'm sure. Get those.
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    Deutsch Marques

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    I kind of did, but there was a part of me that got its hackles all raised even thinking about buying "all season" tires. Anyway, I did buy the Toyo Versado all-seasons and have had them on a couple months now. For the daily driver, these are working out nicely. They are quieter and more comfortable than the T1Rs I took off. Granted, I give up on dry weather traction, but I shouldn't be pushing the station wagon like I stole it anyway!
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    STR86

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    E:

    You need to look at this another way. If you drive on the street, having a "no season" tire allows you to approach the limits of the car without going to jail. You can practice your moves almost daily that way. I apex most turns and use the rear wheels to help steer the car when I can. With ultra-stickies, it can get pretty boring. It's like the car is literally on a rail and there's not driving going on.

    Other advantage, as I mentioned, is that you can take a trip to high elevations and survive a snow event. You do not want to try that with most summer tires.

    Enjoy!

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