We all dream of a life under everlasting sunshine as we drive our convertible down Santa Monica Boulevard. Unfortunately, that’s far from reality for many people.
During the winter months, a lot of drivers have to face snowy streets and highways while having to scrape their windshields in the icy morning and refill their antifreeze tanks just in case.
Tires also perform differently in winter conditions so it is crucial to understand the difference between winter tires vs all-season tires.
Car dealers like Otkup Automobila, for example, can explain the importance of using adequate tires in more detail, but for now, we’re going to focus on the basics.
Temperature Is Crucial For Car Safety
First of all, let’s remember the fact the body expands in the heat and shrinks in the cold. We can be sure that the automobile industry also relies on this fact to ensure maximum safety in all conditions. In this regard, temperature differences dictate the composition of the car tire, providing maximum performance.
You need to know what kind of tires you need to safely navigate the snow, ice, rain, and low temperatures. There’s a clear difference between winter tires and those we use during the rest of the year.
Look at it this way: It’s not by some random chance that winter tires are mandatory by Law at certain times of the year or certain road conditions. You’ll still find relatively old vehicles on today’s roads, and the very same can be said for tires as well.
Although the above reasons have been argued in several ways, practice reveals there is a large number of drivers who simply neglect this fact, believing that it’s some kind of conspiracy theory designed to take money from the people. That’s just hogwash.
Difference Between Winter Tires vs All-Season Tires
There are three differences between winter and all-season tires:
- Rubber compound
- Tread pattern
Winter tires have a higher content of natural rubber, which makes them flexible during the winter. The softer they are, the greater the ability to internally lock with the road surface improved grip and handling.
In addition to the chemical composition itself, winter rubber can be more porous in order to increase the contact surface. This is especially good for driving on ice, where even the slightest irregularities are able to stick to the smooth surface, shortening the braking distance.
Unlike summer/all-season tires, which harden faster at low temperatures, winter tires have the best performance at temperatures below +7 degrees celsius. Put another way: winter tires that run on hot pavement tend to wear out faster.
They have thousands of small grooves (better known as notches) in the tread blocks they use to spray water and prevent aquaplaning. These grooves are buried in snow, slush, and ice, providing optimal grip on the road.
They also have a deep tread pattern. It represents a cavity for snow. Strangely, nothing clings better to snow than snow itself, so compact snow intensifies the grip effect, adding traction that pushes the vehicle forward on roads under snow and ice.
When we say all-season, we logically think of all types of weather and all four seasons – BUT it’s not that simple.
This type of tire offers optimal performance during all seasons except winter. In fact, some auto companies are calling them “3 season tires”. They are designed for a smooth ride in most weather conditions.
All-season tires are great in the rain, can offer some traction in light snow but are not suitable for deep snow, cold weather, and ice.
All-season tires tend to lose grip at temperatures below +7 degrees Celsius, thus increasing the risk of accidents during sub-zero temperatures and snowy winter conditions. These types of tires have treads that are often smooth and straight that helps to repel water while you’re driving in the rain.
It goes to show, it’s extremely important to have two sets of tires. Switching between them regularly in order to suit the weather conditions will ensure their longevity and overall safety of all passengers.
Many drivers tend to ride on all-season tires all year round – which is a huge mistake. Not only will you risk sliding off the road and endangering yourself as well as other members of traffic, but your wallet will probably bear the brunt of the accident.
So change those tires in a timely manner. Keep track of the local weather. Stay smart and out of trouble. If we can be of any assistance regarding these matters, please do not hesitate to contact us.