UHP Summer vs. UHP All-Season Tires

UHP Summer vs. UHP All-Season Tires

When is it best to recommend UHP all-season tires vs UHP summer tires? Find out in this Continental Tire Garage Studio video.

There are a lot of misconceptions in the industry among consumers about how tires work. For example, some may believe that a UHP all-season tire can handle the toughest weather conditions, causing them to take the “all-season” designation too seriously,

The truth is that, while UHP all-season tires provide enhanced mobility on snowy roads and in cooler temperatures, they can’t handle a full season of winter conditions. So, when is it best to recommend UHP all-season tires vs UHP summer tires? Let’s find out in this Tire Review Continental Tire Garage Studio video.

For customers living in climates that rival Southern California and South Carolina, UHP summer tires are better even on some “winter” days. However, if customers live where it regularly or occasionally snows, you may recommend that they swap their UHP summer tire to UHP all-season or winter tires in, say, November (and back to summer in March).

UHP summer tires are made with a stickier tread compound, making them reliable on damp roads. The problem with such grippy rubber is that it gets hard when temperatures drop below 40 degrees F, what some folks in the industry call the “glass transition temperature.”

But there is a catch! A tire that offers almost no damp-road grip can be great at handling more water because its tread pattern limits hydroplaning. There are several UHP summer tires that offer both dry and damp grip and are resistant to hydroplaning, but these may be too flexible for some drivers who feel like they easily lose control in those situations.

What should you do if your customer says their UHP summer tires have no grip in wet conditions? First, check the tread. If it’s less than 4/32nds inch, especially on the rear, then the problem is almost certainly hydroplaning and not damp-road grip. If tread isn’t the issue, the customer’s tires may have just aged to the point that they need replaced.

Here’s the kicker: there’s no government or industry specification for what is or isn’t an UHP all-season tire.

Keep an eye out for that when recommending tires for your customers. Definition-stretching on UHP all-season tires might just encourage people to drive when and where they shouldn’t.

So, there you have it. UHP summer tires are great for highway drivers on dry and damp roads, while UHP all-season tires can be used into the winter months, to an extent. Tell your customers to check their treads regularly and not to take the term “all-season” too literally.

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