All-Season Tyres vs. Winter Tyres Lately there has been a lot of debate about whether to buy winter tyres for the winter, or if all-season tyres were still sufficient to get you through the drudgery that winter has in store. It’s strange because a few decades ago changing over to winter tyres in the winter was commonplace. Then all-season tyres came on the scene and there was no longer any reason to swap tyres back and forth throughout the year. Now you are once again seeing winter tyres come to the forefront of automotive discussions. What has changed? Do you, once again, need to change over to winter tyres in the winter to get you through? We wanted to write this article to hopefully clear up some of the confusion and make sure you’re safe this winter. Do I need winter tyres? This can be a tough question to give a definitive yes or no answer to because there are so many different variables involved in the answer, however, for the most part it depends on the temperature. A good rule of thumb to go by is, if the winter temperatures drop below 7 degrees Celsius where you live, you should invest in a set of four winter tyres. If you live in a place where the temperatures remain relatively mild, then all-season tyres are fine. What makes winter tyres different from all-season tyres? All-season tyres were created to handle a variety of road conditions; dry roads, wet roads and in many cases, light snow. Winter tyres are built to specifically perform in winter conditions like low temperatures, ice, slush and snow. The tread compound of all-season tyres can harden in low temperatures, giving them less traction to grip the road. However, winter tyres use special rubber compounds that stay pliable in the cold temperatures. This gives them excellent gripping ability, improved braking and better control in extreme weather conditions. Do I need winter tyres if I have all-wheel / four-wheel drive? All-wheel / four-wheel drive improve traction by sending power to all four wheels when you accelerate, instead of only two wheel in conventional vehicles. However, neither AWD nor 4WD helps at all when you’re applying the brakes. Winter tyres improve your traction when you’re accelerating, turning and braking.
Can I get away with only buying two winter tyres or do I need to buy all four? You should only install winter tyres in sets of four, regardless of whether your vehicle is front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Having two different sets of tyres on your vehicle creates a situation where your tyres aren’t working together in the same manner, with the same characteristics. For the best handling, control and safety in cold weather it is strongly recommended you install a complete set of four winter tyres. Can I use winter tyres all year round? Using your winter tyres all year round isn’t recommended. When the temperatures warm up, especially in the heat of summer, the already softer and more pliable rubber on the winter tyres will get even softer, causing them to wear out much quicker than all-season tyres. Having to replace all four tyres when winter comes around again, due to wear, will cost much more money than it would cost to just have your tyres switched back to your all- season set when winter is over. Presented By tyreempire.com.au