What’s The Key Difference Between Winter Summer Tyres?
For the countries that have to switch every year between summer and winter tyres and then back to summer tyres, you might wonder what actually differentiates them. They both look quite similar, so why can’t you use the same tyre for the whole year. Here we will review some of the differences between the tyres and also look at the all-season tyres that can be used all-year round.
One of the main differences between summers and winters is the temperature, where the difference between summer and winter can be more than 50 degrees Celsius. You then have the weather differences where you have sun a rain and winters where you have snow, ice and slush
The summers are characterized by warm weather and if you include spring and part of autumn, you basically have plus degrees. You don’t have snow, ice or slush, so you basically have dry roads or then you have wet roads from the either summer rain or the spring/autumn rain. Winter on the other hand is basically the total opposite. You have basically minus degrees and most of the times you will have snow, ice or slush present. The days are shorter, so you have less visibility due to the darkness.
Tyres rubber composition
Due to the temperature in summer and in winter is so different, the rubber compound is optimized to handle the temperature range that is present during the season it will be used. Summer tyres are optimized for a temperature range above zero degrees and winter tyres are optimized for temperatures below zero degrees. This causes the summer tyres to become hard and inflexible when the temperature drops below zero degrees. When the rubber is hard it is not able to adapt to the road surface and dig into its small cavities, which would provide it with good traction. This is why even at sub-zero degrees a summer tyre is not performing very well. A summer tyre on snow, ice and slush, doesn’t have the tread design or the studs to create the traction, which is why you should avoid driving with summer tyres during the winter. Winter tyres are softer than winter tyres at room temperatures, so they don’t become too hard at very low temperatures.
For winter tyres, when they are used during the warm summer temperatures, they will become too soft. They become almost glued to the road surface at high temperatures; this causes them to wear out much faster than intended. It isn’t really dangerous to drive with winter tyres during the summer, but it is not good to wear out your tyres and you don’t get the maximum performance out of the tyres. This is why you can wait a bit longer with changing to summer tyres, but don’t overdo it, just to it for safety until you are sure that the winter temperature will not return.
The tread design is then the second big differentiator of the tyres. With winter tyres you can have studs integrated into the tread and for non-studded they rely on unique tread design. The tread has different design to be able to manage snow and slush and prevent slushplaning. For non-studded tyres you will have grip particles added that will create a sandpaper like surface. For summer tyres, the tread is more optimized for precision and control and the ability to prevent aquaplaning.
For more information regarding summer and winter tyres, visit: https://www.nokiantyres.com/