All-season tires are intended for moderate weather where the temperature does not drop below 7°C. In Canada, a typical all-season tire performs at its optimal level during the most temperate months of April-September, as when the average temperature hits the 7°C point, the rubber compounds in all-season tires harden, reducing traction and braking ability.
Within the all-season category there are a variety of additional factors that consumers can consider:
All-season tires come standard as Original Equipment on a wide variety of favourite cars, Utility vehicles (CUV/SUV), and light trucks.
Note: Many high-end coupes and sedans are being fitted with High Performance (HP) and Ultra High Performance (UHP) tires due to their higher speed ratings and handling capabilities.
Manufacturers design all-season tires using compounds that function well when faced with varying environmental conditions. The compound will work in varying conditions; however, it is not the best option for either extreme.
Many Canadian highways prohibit vehicles using all-season tires without chains during the winter months.
Unlike high performance or summer tires, which are built to excel in handling in warmer months, all-season tires are intended to fit a variety of needs into one tire, excelling in only a few characteristics.
The siping and grooves in all-season tires are different from those of performance tires due to the higher need for water evacuation over cornering and speed requirements. All-season is not an official classification used in tire construction. Unlike winter tires or all-weather tires, to obtain the M+S designation, all-season tires must meet a manufacturing standard and are not tested in severe conditions. Winter tires and all-weather tires must pass stringent tests; this is why most carry the 3PMS symbol (Three Peak Mountain Snowflake) to designate that they have qualified for the highest traction ratings available on snow or ice conditions.