Even though winter tyres are gaining popularity in the UK, many drivers misunderstand them and their purpose of being used in a country that rarely sees snow. The thing is, winter tyres are not just designed for snow and ice. In this article, we’ll discuss if they are worth the outlay, before considering all other aspects of driving during the cold season.
What are winter tyres?
Winter tyres are not the same as ice tyres or snow tyres – there are not any sort of metal studs poking out of the tread. They are designed for slippery roads and low temperatures. Obviously, their service is better than summer car Tyres Fareham crashing in snow and icy roads, but these tyres offer more traction and grip even on a bone dry surface. The only restriction is that the temperature has to be below 7°C. They can clear standing water better than summer tyres, so they are conducive in the rainy season too.
Winter tyres will almost certainly generate more grip than summer tyres between the end of November and the start of March.
Working of winter tyres
Winter tyres differ from summer tyres in three specific ways –
- There are a lot more sipes, grooves, or cuts into the tread pattern that aids water displacement and help the tyre to bite into ice and snow.
- Silica is used to make winter tyres, for which they remain supple and soft in freezing temperatures. But the summer tyre’s rubber becomes very rigid and slips across the road surface.
- The rubber blocks of a winter tyre are designed to vibrate while moving. So, any snow that has been picked up is shaken off. But snow and ice will clog a summer tyre for which it will become completely smooth and thus, useless.
Can winter tyres be used in summer?
There is no law to stop you from using winter tyres in summer, but it isn’t recommended. They wear out quickly faster than summer tyres in warm weather, so it’ll be expensive for you to use them in such weather.
Summer tyres provide better traction and grip than winter tyres in hot climates. The best course of action for you is to swap your tyres according to seasonal changes.
UK law regarding winter tyres
As mentioned before, you are not legally bound to fit winter tyres in cold weather. This is not the case in other European countries; in Germany, drivers have a legal requirement to replace summer tyres for winter ones during winter. Visitors also have to follow this. Between October and Easter, German drivers swap their 4X4 Tyres Fareham.
How to store winter tyres
- Stack them on top of one another and store them in a cool, dry place. Keep them away from sunlight and other heat sources to avoid rubber degradation.
- When removing the winter tyres, mark all of them so that while refitting, you can rotate their positions on the car to get an even wear.
- Before storing winter tyres, wash them with warm water and dry them carefully.
- If your house doesn’t have proper storage capacity, you can use the ‘tyre hotel’ service offered by many tyre fitters.
How to identify winter tyres
A new ‘Alpine’ symbol was introduced in 2012 to identify the winter tyres. The legally classified tyres have the three-peak icon with the snowflake motif.
What is the cost of winter tyres?
The cost of winter tyres depends greatly on their size and brand. But they will have more or less the same price range as that of summer tyres.
Winter car Tyres Fareham can be fitted to steel wheels; you can also use them on a rear-wheel-drive car. If you aren’t keen on buying winter tyres, rent service is offered by some companies. But it’ll save you money in the long run if you buy the tyres. Many drivers use all-season tyres to avoid the hassle of replacing tyres with changing climatic conditions. But the grip and traction provided by winter tyres in cold weather are far better and effective.