Should You Change Your Tyres For Winter?
In this article, we’ll discuss if you should be changing your tyres for the winter months. If you would like to book your vehicle for a tyre change, please click on the link below.
Winter tyres are made for weather conditions below seven degrees and are mainly purposed for snow and ice. Although standard car tyres are perfect for use all year round, winter tyres can provide more grip in slippery conditions, beneficial in an emergency stop.
Within this article, we’ll compare the advantages and disadvantages, as well as some alternatives, so that you can decide if you want to fit winter tyres on your vehicle.
What are winter tyres?
Winter tyres are a different compound of tyre than normal tyres. They provide more grip and improve braking, especially in wet, snowy, and icy conditions. They have narrower grooves and deeper tyre treads than standard tyres, ensuring they won’t be clogged with snow. This helps increase grip and will help reduce your stopping distance, which could be pivotal should you need to make an emergency stop in cold temperatures.
Also known as cold weather tyres, they are commonly fitted between October and March when temperatures drop below 7-degrees Celsius to ensure a safe drive in slippery conditions.
Do winter tyres make a difference?
The best winter tyres will give improved grip in snow and ice. The added grip will help the car to stop quicker and improve rolling resistance. According to Tyre Safe, winter tyres can reduce braking distance by almost 5 metres when the temperature is below 7-degrees Celsius compared to normal tyres, in a test of 100km/h to 0 km/h.
The narrow grooves of a winter tyre also help to reduce the build-up of snow on the tyre. This ensures that the tyre maintains grip by not being clogged up with snow. The wider grooves on a standard tyre mean that more snow can be crushed into the tyre surface, minimising tyre grip due to less tyre surface being available.
If you live in a cold area prone to heavy snow and ice, then winter tyres will be highly beneficial. To browse our range of winter tyres, please click the link below.
The disadvantages of winter tyres
Although winter tyres provide amazing grip in tricky conditions, if you live in an area without much snow and ice, they may not be necessary. If the roads in your area are clear and unaffected by winter conditions, normal tyres will do a similar, if not better, job to winter tyres.
However, we would recommend normal tyres with a high level of grip. If the tyre is worn, it may skid in cooler conditions. Therefore, we advise if your current tyres are worn, have them replaced to ensure optimum road safety this winter.
Can you use winter tyres all year?
Once winter is over, your car may need to return to standard tyres. On a dry road and higher temperatures, the winter season tyres will underperform. Normal sets of tyres perform better when braking than winter tyres in summer months, as highlighted on the graphic below by Tyre Safe.
Alternatives to winter tyres
If you’re looking for grip in winter but don’t want to replace your tyres, then alternative options are limited. The main option is a four-wheel-drive car which will give more grip than a two-wheel drive car across winter and summer.
However, two major drawbacks with four-wheel-drive are firstly the price. On average, four-wheel-drive cars cost between £1500-£2500 more compared to a two-wheel-drive car, according to Top Speed. This is considerably more than a full set of winter tyres.
The second disadvantage is that they won’t reduce skidding on snow and ice. They may help with getting up hills but if you want to prevent your car from sliding in tricky conditions, winter tyres are more effective.
The other alternative to winter tyres is snow chains, however, these are only effective in heavy snow conditions. In comparison to winter tyres, snow chains will be less useful in light snow and could damage your car if not fitted correctly.
Do you really need winter tyres?
If you live in an area prone to snow and ice, winter tyres are a great choice to keep yourself, and others, safe on the road. With increased grip, you’re less likely to skid and a will be a shorter braking distance. Winter tyres can be kept throughout the year, but we’ll give you your standard tyres back after fitting winter ones. This allows you to store them for when they need changing again.
If you’d like to see our wide range of winter tyres suitable for your vehicle and have them fitted in time for winter, please click the button below.
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