WINTER & ALL SEASON
This time of year is normally a busy time for most tyre outlets. The steady stream of enquiries about snow/cold weather tyres and all season/weather tyres never seems to dampen. We thought it would be a good time to refresh everyone’s knowledge on what’s the key differences between these different tyres.
ALL WEATHER/ALL SEASON TYRE
These offer the driver the happy medium, they combine the best attributes of both a summer and winter tyre to produce and ALL SEASON. This tyre can be fitted 365 days a year and avoids the need for change in Spring and Autumn. These can often be a great buy those who spend a lot time in their cars… taxi drivers, man with a van etc… They have a tread pattern that is more heavily siped than a summer pattern but not as heavily siped as an out and out winter tyre.
COLD WEATHER/WINTER TYRES
As vehicle design and technology has advanced over the years – tyres have done the same to cope with heavier faster cars with more advanced braking systems. Because other parts of the world have extreme winter versus summer conditions, winter tyres have been specially developed over many years and work best in temperatures under 7 degrees Celsius. They look like normal tyres but perform differently.
Cold weather/winter tyres gives significant safety advantages in wet and icy conditions – up to a bus length and a half shorter stopping distance! Their superior grip helps maintain control.
If you see a winter tyre up close, you’ll spot that the tread is different to a more conventional summer tyre. The contact patch of a winter tyre is more rugged: they’re covered in thousands of sipes. On snow, it’s these little crevices that bite into the soft stuff, giving the driver grip. A regular tyre’s channels quickly become clogged with compacted snow and effectively become a racing slick, hence the Bambi-on-frozen-lake handling.