Summer VS Winter Tires
A summer tire differs from a winter tire in three key ways; its rubber content, its structure, and its tread pattern. It is important to use summer tires in warmer weather because they improve road performance. Tires designed for summer use are primarily designed for temperatures above 7°C, while winter tires are specially designed for temperatures below 7°C.
Summer tires or Bridgestone Tyres Blyth have a firmer rubber compound that provides grip and traction on dry and wet roads. The tread pattern of summer tires is shallower than that of winter tires, which helps with road accuracy. But, they tend to harden at temperatures below 7°C, resulting in a loss of performance.
Winter tires feature tires designed with a different rubber compound that remains flexible even at these lower temperatures to maintain grip. They also have a deeper tread pattern to improve traction on ice and snow, as well as tiny grooves called sipes in the tread to help disperse water and prevent aquaplaning.
Causes of using winter tires in summer
The main problem with running winter tires in the summer is that it reduces performance. The rubber compound of winter tires means they wear more quickly on warm, dry roads, leading to the need to replace them more quickly.
You will also find that handling and grip are also compromised compared to summer tires as they are mainly designed for cold, wet, icy or snowy roads. Running winter tires can also reduce fuel consumption in the summer months.
There is no legal need in the UK to change your tires according to the season, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Also, be careful if you’re going on a European road trip; some countries have stricter rules about what types of tires must depend on the weather conditions. For example, winter tires are mandatory in Sweden and Finland during the winter months.
Driving the summer tires in winter?
Since summer tires are specifically designed for use in temperatures above 7°C, performance will get lost if you use them in winter. At temperatures below 7°C, the rubber in summer tires can harden, meaning you lose grip on the road. In ice or snow, the stopping distance of summer tires is greatly extended, which can make them more dangerous. Therefore, it is not advisable to use summer tires in winter.
If you are reluctant to change twice a year, all-season tires can be halfway between special summer and winter tires. They are surely made from a mild rubber compound that is already designed to prevent hardening at temperatures below 7°C, aiding grip and performance in colder conditions. They also have a moderate tread depth to provide longer life than summer tires, making them more reliable than summer tires in the winter.
How to store winter tires in summer
If you’ve decided to use summer tires, you’ll need to consider storing your winter tires when they’re not in use. Here’s a step-by-step guide to efficiently storing your winter tires:
- Wash the removed tires with warm water and car shampoo
- Rinse with a hose or clean water and allow to dry
- Check the tires for damage such as nicks and bulges
- Use the tire marker to mark the location of the tire, eg offside front or near rear
- Cover the tires with storage bags or opaque heavy-duty garbage bags
- Store in a cool, dry environment such as a garage, off the floor (ideally on racks or shelves)
- If tires are carefully stored with wheels, hang or stack them; if you don’t have wheels, store them vertically
- Turn and rotate your tires about once a month to prevent them from drying out
- Check for signs of damage such as cracks and replace damaged tires before refitting them to the Tyres Blyth.