5 Best Summer Tires & How to Maintain Them

5 Best Summer Tires & How to Maintain Them

This week our friends over at SimpleTire have provided the DriveDetailed readers with a great article highlighting the best of the best summer tires available for your car in 2020.

I personally run Michelin Pilot Sport 4 on my TTRS and cannot fault them. After receiving this guide, I think I will look to going to the next level and try out the Pilot Sport 4S this summer.

If you want some tips on other types of tire , you can check out TireForge.com

5 Best Summer Tires & How to Maintain Them

Summer’s here, so it’s time to talk about summer tires! 

Summer tires are a different sort of animal. They’re closer to ultra-high-performance (UHP) tires in terms of rubber formulation, construction and tread design. What makes a summer tire different, though? 

  • Rubber compound that is “stickier” for enhanced traction on wet or dry surfaces, yet still stiff enough to keep its shape (for lower rolling resistance)
  • The shallower, straighter grooves and continuous ribs mean that there’s more rubber in contact with the road for improved braking and cornering performance
  • Internal construction of steel belts and cords are optimized for stiffness and cornering ability

Summer tires do have their drawbacks — the softer rubber compound can stiffen up and compromise traction at temperatures below 45 degrees F, and summer tires typically come with a shorter treadwear warranty. We’ve done a quick roundup of five fantastic summer/UHP tires for you to consider: 


#1: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S

Michelin really needs no introduction — this longtime French company has been producing top-notch tires for 120 years. The 4S is designed for sporty vehicles and drivers who like to push the envelope, with features that include: 

  • Asymmetric tread pattern
  • Silica-infused rubber at center for enhanced wet traction, hybrid rubber compound at shoulders for dry cornering ability
  • Twin steel belts and hybrid Aramid/nylon spiral-wound cord for stiffness
  • Layer of sound-absorbing foam in tire carcass helps keep road noise down

Put it all together and the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S offers outstanding steering response and stability, great wet-weather performance and a longer tread life than many summer tires. Michelin has leveraged their experience with racing tire technology and produced a truly great summer tire with the Pilot Sport 4S. 

best summer tire

#2: Bridgestone Potenza RE-11

The Potenza RE-11 makes use of Bridgestone’s Grand Prix 2 and Formula 1 race tires for one of the world’s best summer/UHP tires. For drivers who love performance but also enjoy a smooth and controlled ride, it’s loaded with features such as: 

  • “Stealth” tread blocks help with water evacuation
  • Asymmetric tread pattern
  • Continuous center rib 
  • Two wide steel belts reinforced with nylon

Put it all together and you’ve got a tire that has superior wet-weather performance and can handle high speeds with ease thanks to its robust design. Its construction also boosts the tire’s footprint and evens out pressure for heat reduction and improved response. 

#3: Michelin Pilot Super Sport

How good is the performance of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport? It’s the OEM tire on Ferrari’s fastest road car, the 599 GTO. Does that answer your question? 

  • Bi-compound formulation with silica-infused rubber at center for wet performance, dry-weather-enhanced rubber at shoulder
  • Twin steel belts reinforced by Twaron for rigidity
  • Asymmetric tread pattern
  • Notched center ribs and inboard shoulder for superior performance at speed

Put it all together and you’ve got a summer tire that’s built for high speed driving and is a match for any supercar you can think of. The Michelin Pilot Super Sport won’t let you down regardless of how hard you push your vehicle and your tires. 


#4: Continental ExtremeContact Sport

Continental’s reputation is right up there with the very best in the business when it comes to all-season, touring and performance tires, including high-quality tires for your Subaru Outback. The ExtremeContact Sport builds on some of the technology in the original ExtremeContact DW for unbeatable traction, ride quality, and road manners.

Robust and well-engineered, this summer tire from Continental is a great fit for sports cars, performance sedans and race-inspired coupes. It offers superior resistance to hydroplaning and dead-solid on-center road feel along with race car-like cornering and responsiveness. 

Driving the New Continental ExtremeContact Sport Performance Tire ...

#5: Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position

For a combination of ride quality, low tire noise, road manners and handling, the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position might be one of our top all-around choices. 

The Potenza’s circumferential ribs are tuned to keep road noise down, and the combination of silica rubber compound and dry weather-optimized rubber offer great all-around cornering ability. The Potenza S-04 Pole Position is equally at home carving up hard corners or eating up interstate miles. 

Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position 255/40R19 100 Y Tire ...

How To Clean And Maintain Your Summer Tires

Summer tires are pretty specialized. As we mentioned above, they’re only for use in warmer temperatures; with some rubber compounds, colder weather can actually cause the sidewalls to crack. That sort of cracking is irreversible and will void a tire warranty; as soon as the temperatures come down, those summer tires really need to go into storage again. 

Cleaning Your Summer Tires

A good-looking car has good-looking tires, and few people forget to clean their wheels and tires when it’s car wash time. It’s even more important when your tires are about to go into storage: 

  • Use a scrub brush and soapy water to remove dirt, road grime and brake dust. They’re surprisingly corrosive on the surface of tires if left for too long. 
  • Do not use low quality tire dressing, sealants or other products. 
  • Don’t forget to inspect your tires for bulges, cracks, gouges or other irregularities.

Gyeon Q2 Tire Dressing

Storing Your Summer Tires

Tires have a distinct shelf life, and knowing how to store them properly can make a big difference in how well they hold up. There are some definite do’s and don’t: 

  • Do store the tires stacked on top of each other. Don’t store them standing up, which can lead to flat-spotting. 
  • Do store them in tire storage bags, or black garbage bags (in a pinch). Use a shop-vac to remove as much air as possible from the bags. 
  • Do store them indoors, away from sunlight and in a cool, dry corner of the garage or basement. 
  • Don’t store them near a motor, compressor or other electrical equipment that can generate ozone, which can break down rubber. 

Wrapping Up 

Two Bridgestone tires, two Michelin tires and one from Continental…they’re all excellent tires with their own strong points. Whichever one of these five you choose as summer tires for your performance-oriented car, you can’t go wrong. So get those skins on your wheels, roll down the windows (or put the top down), feel the breeze and go for a drive! 


7 thoughts on “5 Best Summer Tires & How to Maintain Them

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: