You wouldn’t wear sandals in the snow. And sneakers at a wedding would be quite out of place. Just as proper footwear is critical to your comfort and correct body alignment, appropriate tires are vital to affecting the overall performance and handling of your vehicle.
A tire marked “A/T” is designed for all-terrain use but also performs well on the highway. An all-terrain tread has many independent blocks separated by large grooves for off-road traction. Varied sizes and shapes of tread blocks minimize highway noise. The A/T could be compared to a tennis shoe: comfortable and dependable, but only able to handle mildly rugged conditions. If you run off-road only occasionally, for instance weekend camping trips, or see a lot of gravel in your daily driving, the A/T is your “shoe”.
An A/T tire might offer options that an off-road enthusiast would enjoy, but it is not as aggressive as the M/T tire. A tire designated with an “M/T” is used for “Max-Traction.” These dutiful soldiers easily handle muddy and rocky surfaces frequented by the serious adventurer. The M/T tire is the “hiking boot” of tires. Rugged tread elements with large tread voids offer excellent traction to handle the most severe driving conditions. Whether charging up a sand dune, climbing over rocks or heading down the trail, look for the M/T tire.
An “A/S” denotes all-season tires which are dependable for many road conditions. For severe snow conditions, a mountain snowflake pictograph with an M+S represents the industry’s standard for tires, much like snow boots, designed for wintry conditions.
When shopping for tires, don’t be intimidated by the choices. Think of it as a chance to shop for shoes – for your automobile. Search for the right combination of comfort, style and performance to suit your vehicle.
Size up options by visiting your local tire dealer or retailer, the professionals who want to help you “put your best foot forward.” For more information visit www.bridgestonetire.com , www.tiresafety.com , or phone the Bridgestone/Firestone customer service representatives at 1.800.807.9555.