What are Winter Tyres?
When the temperature reaches +7c or lower the rubber compound of a normal (summer) tyre starts to harden. This can result in lower grip levels resulting in greater stopping distances and lower steering control.
The tread compound of a winter tyre contains more natural rubber so that it does not harden when it's cold. This ensures that the tyre stays flexible in low winter temperatures (below +7C) which helps to reduce the stopping distance and maintain excellent grip on snow, ice as well as on wet roads in cold conditions. The stopping distance on icy roads can be as much as 11 metres and nearly 5 metres on a cold wet road.
The design of the tread on a winter tyre allows the tread to bite in to snow and ice to give interlocking grip, which is critical in the centre of the tread where the tyre carries the highest load.
The biggest issue People have with winter tyres is the cost of having to buy another set of tyres for the winter. But if you think about it, you will only use your summer tyres for one half of the year and your winter tyres for the other. So, for example, if normally your summer tyres lasted 2 years then over a 4 year period you would use 2 sets of summer tyres. Over the same period you would use 1 set of summer and 1 set of winter tyres. There is another cost involved depending on which method you use. You could buy another set of wheels for your winter tyres or have them “swapped” over every spring and autumn.
Here are some common questions about winter tyres:
Can I drive on winter tyres in the summer?
Yes, but the best thing to do is store them in the summer otherwise they’ll wear out quite quickly.
What are the biggest benefits of winter tyres compared with normal tyres?
On rear-wheel-drive cars in particular, they improve all areas of performance. But the biggest differences are in braking and traction, and the differences are monumental, as in more than 50 per cent.
Do I really need winter tyres on a front-wheel-drive car?
Yes, because although the improvements aren’t as great as they are on rear drive cars, they are still very significant indeed, especially in braking performance.
Do winter tyres make any difference in the rain?
Yes, a huge difference. In fact, they will improve the braking, traction and overall grip of your car at pretty much any temperature below 5-7 degrees C – even in the dry. And in the wet, in those sorts of temperatures the difference is chalk and cheese.
What’s wrong with carrying a set of snow chains instead?
Best of luck fitting a set of those once you’ve slid to a halt on the hard shoulder on the uphill section of a busy motorway.
Are winter tyres worth it?
So why not call us at Sandhurst Tyres and get a competitive quote for your Winter Tyres