Although we have been experiencing milder winters in recent years, the issue of winter or four-season car tyres is still in the news. Should they be used? How to choose them? How to store them?
Is a winter car tyre really useful? The answer is simple: below 7 degrees, the composition of winter car tyres – a soft compound composed of rubber and silica – makes it possible to maintain a better elasticity of the rubber. The grip on the ground will be more frank both acceleration and braking.
In this regard, did you know that in autumn and winter, stopping distances can sometimes be multiplied by 8? Everything will depend on:
- the state of the road and its type of pavement such as concrete, asphalt …
- the condition of the car tyre: new, worn, inflated correctly or not …
- Car tyre category: summer, winter, 4 seasons.
Winter car tyres, snow car tyres, 4 season car tyres: what are the differences?
You now know that the winter car tyre offers better grip below 7 degrees. But what about the car tyre “4 seasons”? This model is a difficult compromise: the flexibility required under the 7 degrees is hardly compatible with resistance to high temperatures.
4 season’s car tyres: a lesser evil but not the ideal solution
In summary the ideal solution is to alternate summer and winter car tyres. These two models will always be superior to the 4 season car tyres. Should we banish these? No, but provided you correspond more or less to this profile:
- You always stay in our temperate regions.
- Few or no snow or high temperatures in summer.
- You do not travel more than 20,000 km / year as the four seasons wear out faster than summer car tyres.
- You have a tighter budget and you want to avoid paying two sets of car tyres and one change each season.
Summer and winter car tyres: what budget do you anticipate?
Winter car tyres represent a definite extra cost, but it is a thoughtful purchase. The ideal is to be able to offer you a second set of wheels and to fit winter car tyres. They will be used as long as the weather warrants and will save during the summer car tyres. Regarding the choice, take into account the dimensions required for your vehicle by checking the user manual.
Proper use of your car tyres
- Fit four identical car tyres to ensure good handling.
- Never put two winter car tyres on one axle and two “summer” on the other: the risk of accident is maximum
- Regularly check the pressure of your car tyres, and always cold. You will avoid premature wear and gain traction!
- Regularly check the depth of the sculptures: a new car tyre has notches of about 8 mm deep. At 6 mm, the braking distance on snow increases by 20%, from 50% to 4 mm and goes up to 70% when it is only 2 mm deep!
- New car tyres, in general, and snow car tyres in particular, need a slight break-in of +/- 150 km without major demands to become completely efficient.
- A car tyre also wears out without driving; count a maximum of six years of use, even with a very low mileage.