Winter Tyres VS The UK's Climate
Recent news suggests that this year's winter weather will be the worst in living memory. But what does this mean for you? Well, the average Joe doesn't swap their summer tyres to winters during well... the winter. Braking on icy roads with summer tyres at 20 MPH can increase the braking distance by up to (and over!) 11 meters!
But why do summer tyres perform worse in the winter? Without getting into the complete nature as to why, here's a basic overview;
When temperatures drop below 7*c, the rubber and solvent compounds in the tyre start to harden which means the tyres can't deform to fit the road's surface resulting in a smaller surface area on the road and less traction.
You have to keep in mind; the tyre is only in contact for 14/100ths of a second (at only 30 MPH!) so the contact patch has to have the best grip possible in all weather scenarios.
Surely winter tyres only work in the cold we hear you say!?
And what happens when the heavens open and snow blankets the hills? Imagine if you will, you're driving along during a cold dark night in the dead of winter and a blizzard wraps itself around you. The road turns from a dull grey to a ghostly white appearance. What happens to you winter tyres?
Like a magnet, snow sticks on snow. Once the snow gets stuck in the tread of the tyre it creates a snowball effect. As the tyre turns, more and more snow covers the tyre (to a point) which, in turn, can provide a tremendous amount of grip.
But, what happens when you use a winter tyre in the summer?
Well, nothing! Sort of... When the temperature rises, the winter tyre become softer - which has the advantage of providing more grip on the road but, on the flip side, has the 'negative' effect of the tyres becoming too grippy and causing more drag. This can lead to your good old MPGs going through the roof and straight line performance diminishing.
If you don't fancy running winter tyres throughout the summer or all-season tyres don't float your boat, most people are opting to purchase a set of winter and summer tyres and swapping over when the seasons change. We also offer the facility to store the winter tyres through the summer in one of our local storage depots.
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