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Is there a difference between summer and winter tyres?

When it comes to selecting a winter or summer tyre, it’s important to understand the different affects that the conditions will play a part in. Driving your car in different temperature zones can affect your tyres overall performance, as some tyres aren’t meant to be able to handle a dry road, whereas some are specially designed to travel in the hottest conditions – it’s all down to preference though really. There are a number of important factors to take into consideration when selecting the perfect summer and winter tyres, which can include:

Summer tyres

When it comes to warmer climates, the tyre rubber can have differing effects when it comes into contact with warm ground. Summer, or high-performance, tyres, have softer rubber than their winter, or all-season, counterparts. Their design allows for them to have a better grip on the road and can withstand a lot more friction – meaning that they are better when performing at high-speeds. Summer tyres also come with special tread that is designed to get better traction on rain-soaked roads, with the tread pattern designed to be able to channel the water up and away from the car. Although they can provide better gripping and smoother rides, summer tyres also tend to wear out faster.

Winter tyres

As their name suggests, winter tyres are made to withstand colder temperatures and have the ability to perform just as well on uneven road surfaces. They have extra rows of sipes, which are small treads within larger tread sections that add extra grip in snowy or cold conditions – an important safety element for any road user. The rubber is typically thicker and made of a silica-based compound, as the grooves in the tyre are made to push away slush in the same way a plow would.

What to look for

When trying to decide between which set of tyres to purchase, it’s important to get some expert help if you are unsure, because the right decision can make a huge difference. When looking for winter tyres, they should be a lot narrower than others because it can help them to plow through the snow and slush. Since winter tires are designed to travel at lower speeds, a lower speed rating is fine, as your car isn’t designed to go fast in the snow although they are still capable of doing higher speeds if necessary.

For summer tyres, the width and grooves must be taken into consideration as well as a wider tyre could result in hydroplaning at a higher speed, so it would be in your best interest to choose a slimmer tyre that leaves a smaller surface area and can cut through the wet conditions. Opposed to the winter option, summer tyres will have a higher speed rating which can withstand speeds of up to 270 mph.


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