The benefits of winter tyres seem obvious for the Lapland drivers, but what about the UK ones? What can be your reasons to switch over to winter tyres if you aren’t, actually, legally obliged to do so in the UK and you already have good all-season tyres on your vehicle?
The latter is often said to be winter- and summer-ready, but does it mean that having only them is sufficient for any kind of weather and road? Tyre experts from 123engineoil.co.uk told us that although all-season products really perform well on both wet and dry roads and provide a quiet and fuel-efficient driving, they aren’t designed for a safe and reliable driving on ice and snow. Like winter tyres are.
Black ice, packed snow, frost, and thaw unpredictably interchange in winter, but good winter tyres leave the driver nothing but to be ready to hit the road under any extreme conditions without compromising safety. So what makes them so special?
Frost makes traditional rubber used in summer and all-season tyres stiff worsening their traction. The special rubber compound of winter tyres lets them remain flexible and pliable providing a superior grip on any kind of surface. Manufacturers consistently improve their compounds, adding new features, for example, turning the tread in a sort of a sponge that absorbs the thin layer of water on ice for a better grip.
Winter tyres have deeper tread grooves that prevent snow from building up around the tyre and special patterns that help snow, dirt, and water out easier preserving the perfect traction with the road.
Winter tyres have a higher density of sipes (tiny and narrow grooves) that widen when the tread flexes helping to evacuate even more snow and water from under the tyre and providing a firmer contact with the surface. Many tyre manufacturers experiment with those sipes and literally dig deeper by adding tiny champers under the tread and connecting them with sipes for even better absorbing and removing water.
Decades ago, winter tyres were nodose and downright noisy. Modern compound technology and compelling design make today’s winter tyres quiet enough and obedient on both wet and dry surfaces.
Studded tyres that often clash with the law and produce too much noise become the thing of the past. Although they really can provide a perfect grip on ice, modern high-technology studless tyres can be equally efficient in extreme weather.
The answer depends on your unique situation: how often you encounter harsh weather conditions during the winter season? If you are in a cold sweat at the mere thought of the approaching winter, why not stop this disaster and try an absolutely different level of safety and confidence provided by modern winter tyres? If you have finalized your decision in their favour, here are a couple of tips for you:
1. Always replace all 4 tyres with the winter ones. If you change only 2 (either front or rear), the old pair may skid and even lead to losing control of your vehicle.
2. Replace winter tyres immediately after the cold season ends because they get worn much faster on a dry and warm road.