Winter Tyres – All you need to know

Winter Tyres – All you need to know


Most tyres fitted to cars in the UK are standard tyres, what we call ‘Summer tyres’.  Most of us use summer tyres all year round, which most of us use all year round.  In many European countries however, they switch to winter tyres in late Autumn and then back to Summer tyres in late Spring.  In fact in some EU countries the law requires motorist to switch tyres.

Many people think that winter tyres are specifically designed to work only in the snow and that, to be honest, is out of date!  Modern rubber and the addition of silica in the compound means the coupled with advances in tread pattern design means that today’s winter tyre also provides greater safety benefits on cold and wet roads.

Annual temperatures in the UK cycle between +32degC and -15degC.  With such diverse temperatures, one tyre type can’t be expected to deliver optimum safety in all these conditions.  When the temperature drops below 7degC, a summer tyres rubber becomes hard and therefore gives much less grip.

The tread compound in a Winter tyre contains more natural rubber to minimise the hardening effect, which gives them extra grip in cold, wet and icy conditions.  The tread also contains more ‘sipes’… slits to you and I.  These sipes provide more edges to bite in to ice and snow.  The natural flexibility of the rubber means that’ these sipes are self cleaning, meaning that the next time the tread touches the roads its clean and ready to do its job all over again.

The improved performance and grip, in cold weather, wet roads, snow and ice are beyond anything you might expect. This means that with winter tyres you will experience

  • Significantly shorter stopping distances.
  • Higher levels of road safety during the colder winter months
  • Considerably shorter stopping distances on both wet and dry roads at low temperatures
  • Better mileage than normal tyres in winter weather

Nevertheless, whether you fit winter tyres or not, you should carry out regular checks throughout the winter to ensure your tyres are in the best possible conditions for maximum safety. We’d recommend you check your tyres every two weeks – its easy and only takes a few minutes. And don’t forget to check your tyre pressures too. Your tyres connect you to the road, so making sure you have the right tyre for your needs is essential to ensure you can enjoy safe and happy motoring. But as the colder months approach, you also need to consider whether your tyres are appropriate for the changing road conditions the winter weather throws at you. Just think back to previous winters – you can be sure there’s always a good mix of snow, ice, rain, sleet and fog.  To cope with this mix of different road conditions you need a tyre which is designed to tackle them all.

Do I really need to invest my money in to a second set of tyres?  Consider where you live, the roads you use for your regular journeys, the distances you have to travel.  Also consider that winter tyres are used for 5 out of 12 months of the year, so your summer tyres will last longer and your winter tyre should last three, four or even five seasons.

Where can I get the from? Easy Tyre can source tyres for the most popular sizes and fit them the next day. For other sizes we can fit them in a maximum of 7 working days from placing your order.  And our prices are very competitive.

What happens when I want to switch back to my summer tyres?  We keep a database of our customers who have winter tyres and send out reminders when its time to switch from one to the other.  We will book an appointment with you and come and do the switch at your convenience.

Posted by Easy Tyre Fitter

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