All VehiclesCommercial Vehicle
- Shopping Tools
“It is NOT recommended to use winter tires in summer or hot weather conditions. They are made with rubber compounds that keep the tires flexible and provide traction, even in temperatures below 45°F (or 7°C). ”
If you plan to save some money by using your winter tires all year round, it’s time to think again, as there are key reasons why you should NOT use winter tires past their designated season.
1) Winter Tires Deteriorate Quickly Under Heat-Ridden Temperatures
Just as they are called, winter tires are best used in winter or snowy or icy road conditions as they are made with a rubber compound that is specially made to overcome such severe weather. This unique type of rubber compound allows the winter tire to stay flexible and provide traction, even when the temperature drops below 45°F (or 7°C). However, if misused under heat-ridden temperatures, your winter tires will wear out quicker than usual as they are not intended for such use.
If you expect warmer weather, it is best to use all-weather tires which are made from a different type of rubber compound that enables them to withstand a variety of conditions, a broader spectrum of temperatures, and a longer life span.
2) Hindrance With Handling the Vehicle
As stated above, winter tires are made with a different type of rubber compound that is much more pliable. To prove this, a study was conducted by Continental Tires with the results of 15% less accuracy in steering and handling when using winter tires during hotter temperatures. The study also discovered that winter tires were able to do an avoidance maneuver with a limit of 70 km/hr (approx. 43 mi/hr), versus summer tires which were able to do the same at 80 km/hr (approx. 50 mi/hr). These results show that the handling of winter tires will be less effective with common issues such as steering, braking, cornering, and accelerating when facing warmer conditions.
3) Lack of Traction
As expected, winter tires are known to have more tread blocks in comparison to all-season tires. Usually about 2-3x more. If you make the sore mistake of using winter tires all year long, not only are you wearing down the treads by forcing your tires to roll upon hot concrete . But by doing so you are putting your safety at risk for the upcoming winter since winter tires are created to be as flexible as possible. With a hot surface, the tires become too supple and will start to create tiny balls made of rubber that will roll underneath the wheels. Thus, causing a
slippery and hazardous situation where the vehicle needs at least one and a half to two car lengths more before they can stop.
Keep in mind, it is always best to be prepared and have a proper set of winter tires beforehand, with most manufacturers suggesting a tread depth with a minimum of 6/32 of an inch to have the best grip on the snow.
4) Instead of Saving You Will Be Spending Money
Ironically, instead of saving money like most think, using your winter tires for the incorrect weather conditions causes you to be less economical on fuel. The reason behind this is actually because winter tires have a higher ability to withstand rolling by about 15% than all-season tires. However, if the winter tires malform during hot conditions, it causes the tire to lose its rolling resistance and lose its momentum which is why you would have to spend more on fuel to get your car moving.