06 Nov The benefits of Winter Tyres
The benefits of Winter Tyres…
Every year do you find yourself dreading driving in the colder months? When you wake up on those frosty, slippy or snowy days and know you have to get to work, do the school run etc but you just know it will be more like going car ice-skating and anxiety overcomes you! When you see those smug people in their four wheel drive cars sailing past like it was summer and you wish you just had a car that you could even reverse out of the drive in!
Well, there is a solution to better performance in the winter months without changing your car. Get some winter tyres fitted?
When should you switch from summer to winter tyres?
Some people believe that winter tyres should be fitted when the weather has already become colder, snow is falling etc, however this is not the best time. Winter tyres are not solely fitted to keep your car on the road when it is snowy, they are also fitted to provide the best traction when the temperature drops below 7°C.
Summer Tyres are designed for warmer weather, to provide the best handling and traction in the warmer months of the year, helping you with efficient fuel consumption and minimum noise when driving. Therefore when the temperature falls, the rubber the summer tyre is made from becomes harder and the tread, which is designed to remove the water, starts to lose its functionality. Therefore on wet surfaces, this means that the car loses traction, and in the colder months this is the last thing you want/need!
Winter tyres however are made of soft rubber and this does not harden so easily. They also have a specially designed tread pattern whereby the water and the snow don’t get stuck in the tyre tread, even at lower temperatures.
Which Months are the best to changeover to Winter Tyres?
September or October or later?
Well we are now in November and perhaps you just haven’t gotten around to fitting winter tyres on your car just yet. So far the temperatures have been relatively mild, however you can feel it becoming colder. So ideally, the best months for changeover to winter tyres are September and October. In September and October, days are not likely to be colder than 7°C. However, it is always better to be prepared for sudden drops in temperature so you shouldn’t change tyres last minute.
At this temperature, you will be much safer if you drive with your winter tyres on. Also if it’s 15°C, both winter tyres and summer tyres will offer the same performance.
So, if enhanced safety has not convinced you, maybe cost will: if you get on with it early, you will have more time to shop around to get the best winter tyres for your car at the best price. Most tyre dealers will remove your summer tyres for you and fit the winter ones. Some of the larger tyre dealers will also store the summer tyres for you until you need them re-fitting again in the spring.
When should you change from winter to summer tyres?
Ideally it is best to fit your summer tyres in the Spring. When the daytime temperature is increasing and has reached 14°C. Easter can be hit and miss weather wise in the UK. Sometimes it is hot and other times we have had snow. In 2018 Easter was very snowy and you would have kicked yourself had you swapped your winter tyres back to summer before Easter. Therefore we would recommend waiting until May to swap back to summer tyres when the weather is likely to be more predictable.
When do tyres need replacement because of tread wear?
When you change your tyres it is good practice to inspect the condition of the tyres you are removing. There is no point in storing worn and dangerous tyres if they need replacing. If you are changing over to winter tyres, do make sure in spring you will still be able to use the summer ones.
If you do this it will give you enough time to buy new ones at a better price if you need them; generally winter tyres can be cheaper in spring and summer tyres can be cheaper in autumn.
How do you know if tyres are not legal?
You should check is the depth of the tread. The minimum tread depth allowed in winter tyres is 1.6 mm. You can do the 20p coin check. This test requires placing a twenty pence coin in the main tread channels in different parts of the tyre. When you do this if you can see the outer band of the coin face, this means the tyre tread is too low and likely to be illegal. Most reputable tyre dealers will carry out a free safety check on your tyres so this is always the best option.
Part Worn, Used Tyres – Saving or a False Economy?
You should also not use tyres that are more than ten years old and this can be a danger and a false economy when buying used or part worn tyres.
Did you know that you can check the manufacturing date of the tyre; if you see the “DOT” followed by some digits, the last 4 of them will be the week and year when the tyre was manufactured. For example, 2813 means that the tyre was manufactured in the 28th week of the year 2013.
If you would like a quote on winter tyres in Leeds, or surrounding areas, we can help. Search by your vehicle registration on our website and get an instant quote, then you can order and we will fit the winter tyres for you.