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Why You Shouldn’t Use Winter Tires All Year Round

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winter tires in summer guide

As we make our way through spring, the sun is shining again and if you are lucky you might even be wearing a t-shirt on a particularly warm day.

However, the winter tires are still on the car, and changing them for a new set of summer ones feels unnecessary.

There’s no law against driving on winter tires in summer and you question why you should change them at all.

Well, in this guide you will see why it really is wise to change your winter tires for summer (or all-season) ones as soon as you can.

1. You won’t save money on tires

The biggest reason drivers decide to keep the winter tires on is the cost of changing them out for summer or all-season alternatives.

Using the winter ones all year will save money.

Unfortunately, this is not true. Winter tires are specifically designed for low temperatures. The rubber is engineered to last longer in those low temperatures.

They also have more sipes compared to summer tires. These provide greater traction in wintery conditions, however, once you start driving around on warm roads your tread will wear down very fast.

Come next winter, you will be replacing your tires anyway.

2. You’ll spend more money on fuel

gas station

Due to the rubber compound becoming soft and sticky in warmer temperatures, your winter tires have greater “rolling resistance” on the road.

Rolling resistance is the energy that is lost when the tire rolls. Study’s show that this is 15% higher on winter tires than it is summer tires.

So what does this mean to me? Higher fuel consumption.

The tires are more inefficient due to the higher roll resistance. It literally takes more fuel to propel your vehicle along the road.

3. Braking distance is impaired

With the notion that you might save money out of the window, what about safety concerns.

The fact is, winter tires perform badly in summer conditions. Braking distance is greatly impaired.

With 2-3 times as many tread blocks compared to summer tires, winter options are not as efficient on warm and dry roads.

The larger number of blocks is more pliant in the heat. This makes the surface area of the tire in contact with the road more greasy. The result? It takes longer to stop.

4. You will have less control using winter tires

summer drive

Continental Tires conducted a study that found winter tires offer 15 percent less steering precision in warm temperatures when compared to summer/all-season tires.

Furthermore, critical limits during an avoidance maneuver are anything above 70km/hr in a vehicle with winter tires in summer conditions.

If your car has the correct seasonal tires, this speed is raised to 80 km/hr.

Essentially, for similar reasons your safe braking distance is reduced, the break down of the rubber compound in the heat, causes the surface of the tire to be more greasy.

You have less control of the vehicle as a result.

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