As the temperature drops, some drivers are left confused as to what the benefits are to swapping their summer tyres to a winter set. We aim to provide clarity on why it’s worth investing in some winter rubber.
What is a winter tyre?
There are numerous types of tyre that British drivers have access to, with the majority of brits using a summer tyre, most class this as a “normal” tyre. Summer tyres are hard compound which mean they soften in warmer temperatures to provide optimal grip; perfect for use in temperatures above 7C. Alternatively when the temperature drops, they become too hard and will not provide enough grip.
This is where your winter tyres come in. Winter tyres are made from a softer compound, which means that in temperatures below 7C, the tyre is able to remain soft enough to provide the extra grip needed in the colder wetter weather. In addition they have a different tread pattern with fine grooves which ‘bite’ snow more efficiently.
Why do I need them in the UK?
You don’t need to be surrounded by snow to get the use out of your winter tyres, they will not only provide a better grip but they help your car to stop quicker and are less prone to skidding. Winter tyres will aid your cornering performance, enabling you to turn your car around corners and tight spaces with ease where you might otherwise skid. It’s not just icy road conditions where you should change your driving style. Breaking distance changes even in wet and damp conditions. Winter tyres can also significantly reduce the risk along with careful driving in these conditions. At the end of it, it’s all about safety.
Can’t I buy a winter set and keep with on all year around?
Well yes, you can. But we wouldn’t recommend it. In the same way we recommend you fit your winter tyres when the temperature drops below 7C, when it gets warmer, you’ll find that your summer tyres provide a better grip and have the optimum tread for the season.
When should I change my tyres?
We recommend changing October – March, this way you are sure you’ll get the most grip for the best time of year. In winter, tread depth should be checked to ensure it is well above the legal minimum of 1.6mm across the central 3/4 of the tyre, around its entire circumference.
Tyre pressures should be checked at least once a month or before a long journey. Pressures should be checked when the tyres are cold (i.e. travelled less than 2 miles) against the vehicle manufacturers recommended levels.
When checking your tyre pressures, give the rest of the tyre a thorough visual inspection for any signs of damage. Look for any cuts, cracks bulges and remove any embedded objects.
How can we help, you ask?
At the RRG Group, we supply and fit tyres which are specifically designed to operate in cold conditions. Pop into your nearest RRG dealership for a hassle-free tyre swapping experience – we’ll even store your summer tyres ready for when spring comes around!