People use fewer cars in winter than in the summer. Even then, over half of all motoring accidents occur during the winter season. The reason behind this fact is that people often overestimate the amount of distance it takes to apply the brake in the cold weather. In many places where the temperature is cold, car drivers switch to winter tyres.
Winter Tyres seem like a mystery to many as it is unclear about what they actually do and if they are different from summer Tyres. After all, Tyres are Tyres, right?
Truth is that winter tyres offer more grip than summers, in temperatures below 5-7°C, helping to keep your car stable in winter weather. Winter Tyres are made by putting larger amounts of silicon into the rubber mix to make the rubber temperature resistant to keep its flexibility in even sub-zero conditions. Thus offering effective gripping on the road’s surface.
Summer Tyres are the perfect companion to your car for the summer months. They are fitted as standard to most cars. They work fine in other seasons as well but their performance rapidly declines as temperatures drop. Summer Tyres are soft and grip well in normal and warm temperatures. However, summer Tyres will start to lose traction with the road surface as the temperature approaches 7°C or below, leaving your car unstable and not very comfortable to drive.
When that happens, it is probably worth getting some winter Tyres for your car at that point.
Similarly, all-season Tyres are fitted in most cars, and stickier summer Tyres are fitted in many higher performance cars. But these cannot simply match the performance of a dedicated winter tyre, which has a wet weather grip to apply brakes easily.
Winter Tyres do not harden in colder temperatures (unlike summer Tyres) due to differences in the rubber compound. Winter Tyres are specially designed to operate at temperatures below 10°C. When summer Tyres are exposed to a similar temperature, they get considerably harder, decreasing their grip levels. The tread patterns on winter Tyres are designed to optimise winter grip and water displacement.
You will only need winter Tyres when the weather is cold, and the roads are wet or greasy for prolonged period of time. You need to change back to summer Tyres when the season is warm again. Why? Because of durability. Winter Tyres, made from a softer rubber compound which deteriorates much faster in summers and the grip will also wear out, affecting your fuel efficiency.
Summer and all-season Tyres provide better all-around performance in summers in the right conditions.
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