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Old 01-19-2010, 10:56 AM   #1
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All-terrain vs. All season tires

I'm looking to get a new Ford F-150 4x4 5.4L, and am debating getting ALL-SEASON tires instead of ALL-TERRAIN tires, since my off-road goals don't include negotiating boulder piles, and I don't want to unnecessarily compromise fuel economy. I remember hearing that all-terrain tires may affect fuel economy. Am I wrong?
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by ESCAPE POD View Post
I'm looking to get a new Ford F-150 4x4 5.4L, and am debating getting ALL-SEASON tires instead of ALL-TERRAIN tires, since my off-road goals don't include negotiating boulder piles, and I don't want to unnecessarily compromise fuel economy. I remember hearing that all-terrain tires may affect fuel economy. Am I wrong?
I had all-season (OEM) tires on my truck. The were for Paved roads only. Ok at least here in Montana. I switched to all-terrain tires. Much deeper tread, a little noisier, maybe, I can't hear much over the Diesel engine and the wind going down the highway. No problems with gravel or dirt roads. They seem to be lasting longer as well.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:02 AM   #3
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Here is a quick synopsis of the difference between to two. All Terrain Vs. All Season Tires | eHow.com Go with the tire that you will use the most.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ESCAPE POD View Post
...debating getting ALL-SEASON tires instead of ALL-TERRAIN tires, since my off-road goals don't include negotiating boulder piles, and I don't want to unnecessarily compromise fuel economy. I remember hearing that all-terrain tires may affect fuel economy. Am I wrong?
no u aren't wrong, but perhaps obsessing over the details and missing the bigger picture...

i did that too when selecting option packages on the truck.

u can go the the TIRERACK web site and read lots of user reviews for most tires on your radar.

they also do a great job 'splaining each 'type' of tire.
____________

basically all season tires have more siping cut into the blocks of rubber to handle water and minor slick stuff.

AS tires tend to have LESS open space and rely more on groove design to channels to move water n stuff.

and the AS rubber compounds don't get rock hard in COLD weather, like dedicated summer tires do.

but AS as a category includes a W I D E variety of tires and designs with a spectrum of features/characteristics.

the confusion is AS as a designation (like snow tires or M/S rating or track use only...) versus a market/consumer category.
____________

all terrain tires tend to have more OPEN space in between the tread blocks, which helps in mud or wet grass or snow.

but NONE of the AT tires used by ford as oem gear are really OFF ROAD tires.

so don't worry about big nobby things meant for rock crawling or real mud use, they aren't using tires like that.

for example the bfg rugged trail A/T series is a good multi purpose tire as is the scorpion AT they use and the bridgestone duel AT.

but none of these are real OFF ROAD MUDDER tires...

it's a bit like buying a running shoe that has enough grip for trail use (at tires) vs full on trekking boots (off road tires)
_____________

and avoid the tempation/sales pressure to opt for the LOWER profile/wider tires on BIG rims...

that combo is not ideal for towing, even if the tires are all season rated and wider=poorer fuel economy.

18s or 17s are better for towing and daily driving, 20s are unfortunately becoming more common, and do look cool.
___________

the SINGLE best way to improve mpg with typical AT tires is keep them properly inflated.

almost all trucks set up for test drives have the tires lower than ideal, to 'soften' the 30 minute ride.

most modern AT light truck tires have mpg similar to the AS light truck tires...

NONE of these 1/2 tons will have E rated (heavy loads) tires and many are just passenger car tires SIZED for the truck segment.
___________

folks often suggest AT tires are noisier and for some this is true.

but again proper air/rotation and balance make the noise a non issue imo.

and MANY of the newer AT tires are multipurpose, quiet, civil on tramac, but still can grip occasional mud, gravel or wet grass.
__________

what tire brand/model SPECIFICALLY are u debating and what else is part of that package for the truck?

gotta love new truck shopping!

cheers
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:52 PM   #5
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We have mud and snow here, lots of it. Been driving and playing in the stuff for years.

In general I consider the tires currently being sold as all-seasion to be marginal for winter driving or even trivial offroad uses like parking in a hayfield. The tires that I have on my wife's car, a Chrysler Pacifica, are A/T tires, and have helped with things like driveways and hayfields.

I got all-season tires on a Dodge 1500 that I bought new, which is the worst mistake I made with that truck.

There is wide variation in a/t tires so look at the tread, ask questions, look at the load rating.

A smaller wheel and higher profile tire will save you around a thousand dollars over the life of the truck because those tires last longer and cost less. I have low profile tires on my daily driver (another mistake) and am now facing $175 per tire replacement costs on tires that are lasting no more than 40,000 miles.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:38 PM   #6
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Here is some reading.
Consumer Survey Results By Category
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