Most drivers think of tires as being nothing more than round black rubber blobs, but there’s a lot more to them than that, and to give us a primer on it we have our tire expert Matt Edmonds. Matt, welcome back to Goss’ garage.

MATT EDMONDS: Pleasure to be here Pat.

PAT GOSS: All right, tell us a little bit about the different sizes or different types of tires you have set up here.

MATT EDMONDS: Well I’ll tell you Pat. What we’ve got here today is from Michelin. We’ve got four different tires and these are all really performance categories. And we’re equating them to shoes really an easy way for people to grasp the concept of getting the right tire for their vehicle depending on the conditions and what they need to have.

What we have here the second tire in is actually an all season tire good in everything not great in anything. Kind of that pairs of shoes you would wear no matter what the conditions were. And on either side of it we really have the opportunity to expand and go for something that is really specific to the conditions. Here we have the Michelin X-Ice 3 a dedicated winter tire, and on the other side the Michelin Pilot Sport. Which really that Pilot Sport is a tire that’s intended for summer, early or late spring… fall that 3 season tire so wet and dry. Down on the far end the real racy one signified by the racing shoes the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2.

PAT GOSS: Mostly for the track.

MATT EDMONDS: Mostly for the track, but a tire that will work on the street in those warm conditions.

PAT GOSS: O.K., now you’re using the term winter tire. A lot of people think of them as snow tires which they really aren’t anymore.

MATT EDMONDS: Well they’ve really evolved. I mean starting in the mid 90’s a winter tire is now a tire that not only digs down through the snow has that capability to get down to the pavement, but also has compounding now that really stays soft and pliable in those cold conditions. Whereas a dedicated summer tire will get very hard and plastic like. This allows the tire to really work when the pavement is cold and dry.

PAT GOSS: O.K., so then the summer tire, I guess the ideal situation here would be to have a dedicated set of winter tires and a dedicated set of summer tires.

MATT EDMONDS: Well, just like you have multiple pairs of shoes to give yourself the ultimate in control and thus safety personally, it’s the same thing with the tires, so you have the winter tires that you run typically from November to April really when the winter conditions are out there. And then the summer tires are your three seasons tires the rest of the year.

PAT GOSS: Matt, thank you. And if you have a question or a comment drop me a line right here at MotorWeek.