Winter Vs Summer Tires

The Right Tire

For countless drivers, the rapidly approaching winter means one thing; time to switch from summer to winter tires. It is an essential component in having your vehicle winter ready. But why exactly do you need to switch tires? What are the differences between summer and winter tires? Is it really that much of a problem to go through winter on your summer tires? Today we are going to answer these questions and more as we take a look at the attributes of both summer and winter tires.

Summer Tires

These tires are designed to achieve a couple of key purposes. The first of these is longevity. The rubber compound is harder than in winter tires, which increases the overall tread life. The downside to this is that that compound is only effective at warmer temperatures. As soon as it drops below 7°C the compound begins to lose traction which affects your vehicle’s handling and safety. The second purpose of summer tires is comfort. This is achieved through the tread pattern which is designed to give a quieter ride with low rolling resistance which helps to increase your vehicle’s fuel economy. However, in the winter months, the snow, slush, or residue on the roads can clog the treads. Once that happens, the tread becomes slippery and unsafe.

Winter Tires

Winter tires purpose is to provide the highest degree of handling and safety in winter months. The rubber compound on the tire is softer and will stay softer in the winter months. This provides a better grip on the road even with snow or ice present. In the summer months though, this compound can become too warm damaging the tire and potentially causing it to fail. The tread pattern on winter tires is specifically designed to grip the snow and push away moisture in the form of water and slush. This reduces the chance of a loss of traction as well as improving your vehicles overall performance through winter months. Once the snow and icy conditions have ended, it is important to change out your winter tires. Driving excessively on dry or moisture covered pavement will rapidly destroy the tread reducing the tire’s effectiveness in the next winter.

Change is Important

Changing over tires ensures your vehicle has the right set equipped to handle the road conditions and weather. Although either tire can be driven in the other season, it is far from ideal, and can actually damage the tire which will reduce its longevity for the season it was designed for. So make sure to change out your tires for the appropriate season. In the long run you will be enjoying a more efficient, safe ride the whole year long.