Summer tyres typically provide better overall performance during the hottest months of the year. Most of them have a hard compound that can soften in warm temperatures to properly adapt to dry and wet roads. They have fewer grooves than snow tyres and special tread bars that help reduce aquaplaning. These features provide extra grip, both, laterally and longitudinally in hot temperatures, ensuring plenty of grip and traction on dry and wet roads.
Even though summer tyres are able to withstand most climate conditions, they are not really made for colder and harsher climates. They use a harder and thicker rubber compound and fewer amounts of natural rubber compared to winter tyre; this special rubber starts to harden below seven degrees Celsius. Summer tyres can also adapt to warmer temperatures without softening, that is why they create less friction while using less fuel.
Summer tyres have a block-shaped pattern, which allows more contact with the surface. This guarantees outstanding handling which can positively affect your braking distance.
Dangers of summer tyres during the winter
Picture this: the season is changing, and you can feel that winter is coming. It is cold and maybe there is a little ice and snow on the street. You know it is time but changing your car tyres can be a hassle. You might be wondering if you can just leave your current tyres on and continue with your life. Sadly, that is not the best idea. Using your summer tyres during the winter can be dangerous and can damage your tyres providing minimum safety on snow-covered roads.
It will all depend on the local weather. If the climate is dry year-round and the temperature does not drop below zero, you can use summer tyres even in the winter. Note that it should remain a little bit warm. Summer tyres can get easily damaged in cold conditions. With occasional freezing episodes, all-season may be a good option for you. Experts recommend not to use summer tyres when there are snow, ice and the temperature drops frequently. Winter is the perfect time to use winter tyres.
Loss of grip and traction
Summer tyres tend to have low rolling resistance; this characteristic can improve handling and efficiency while reducing extra noise. Unfortunately, the tread used on summer tyres performs inadequately on snow and ice. They have little acceleration and low resistance in winter, resulting in longer stopping distances on snow. Snow tyres, on the other hand, can outperform them. They have deeper tread that sinks into the water and snow, while clings to ice, delivering a much shorter stopping time. In contrast, the winter tyre compound is less vulnerable and much softer at low temperatures.
The compounds used for summer tyres are usually designed for hot weather. Once the temperature falls, the rubber hardens. Even all-season have less traction in the snow, they have a higher risk of slipping when accelerating, braking and turning. In places with substantial snowfalls, it is recommended switching to winter tyres.
Damage caused by low temperatures
Even on roads with no snow or ice, winter will always bring cold temperatures. As you can see, summer tyres were not designed for freezing temperatures. Their tread will eventually stiffen, and the traction and performance will be reduced, this puts your tyres at risk as they will lose their flexibility and might crack. There is also a great possibility of chipping. Cracked and chipped tyres are not safe and have to be replaced.
If the local conditions are moderate, you can equip your vehicle with either all-season or summer tyres from renowned tyres brand during the winters and even the whole year. It will all depend on how cold it is, in addition to your specific tyre size like 225 50 r17 tyres.
Sneha Sharma is a writer currently associated with Droom Technology. She writes about various topics such as auto news, trends in the automobile industry, auto finance and so on. She has a prominent existence and well participation on different social media platforms.