Rain is not a season in North America. Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. It rains or snows in every single one of them. In the mainland U.S., there’s enough precipitation to cover the 48 contiguous states to a depth of 30 inches—that’s the equivalent of about 1,430 cubic miles of water each year.
What happens to you and your vehicle when you’re driving through all that rain, snow, and ice—dry roads too, for that matter—depends largely on your tire. If it’s the General Tire AltiMAX 365 AW, the rubber is engineered to handle not just a season on the calendar, but all-weather—that’s what the “AW” stands for—365 days a year.
But how can one tire be a top performer no matter the elements? Let’s break it down:
First, let’s decode the symbols on the tire. A three-peak mountain snowflake on the sidewall means the tire meets required performance snow testing criteria to be considered severe snow service-rated.
VAI means “Visual Alignment Indicator.” The indicators appear on specific sipes three times around the circumference of the tire on each tread shoulder. If the sipes of the VAI wear off differently, it means there is potential misalignment of the wheels. Keeping an eye on this can extend the life of the tire.
Superior treadwear is what makes the AltiMAX 365 AW long lasting on wet and dry roads. The stable longitudinal shoulder blocks provide excellent grip transfer when braking. And the regular distribution of sipes in the tread helps the blocks retain their stiffness, leading to even wear and high mileage.
If you live where it snows, you’re faced with a choice: avoid the roads when conditions exceed the capabilities of your all-season tires or buy a set of dedicated winter tires for the winter season. Try keeping those winter tires on all year long and they’ll wear out fast. With the AltiMAX 365 AW, now you just need one set of tires for the whole year, rain or shine (or snow).
When it’s wet, the wide circumferential and lateral grooves make for rapid water evacuation from the contact patch when driving. For safe driving in winter, V-shaped blocks in the center of the tread—specially designed for all-year use—offer a large number of biting edges. And these tires build up necessary grip for braking in typical wintry road conditions.
In the end, the AltiMAX 365 AW combines ride comfort, low-noise, dry, wet, snow handling, and excellent treadwear.