Should you use winter tires in summer?

4 minute read Published on Jun 7, 2021 by BrokerLink Communications

Should you use winter tires in summer?

It’s been proven that using winter tires in the winter makes a huge difference when it comes to safety, especially if you live in an area that gets lots of snow or has icy roads. In the winter season, good quality winter tires can drastically improve the handling and braking of your car, potentially preventing an accident. If you’ve ever driven a car with winter tires in icy or snowy conditions, you’ll recognize the benefits first hand and will likely never forget to change your winter tires.

While winter tires are a safety upgrade for the cold season, this doesn’t mean they should be left on your car year-round. Since winter tires are meant for cold conditions, they are not as effective in warmer weather. Here are a few reasons why making the switch to summer tires is a good idea.

#1: Winter tires don’t perform well on wet roads during summer

Winter tires are designed to perform at their best in cold, snowy, or icy conditions. Cars that are equipped with winter tires in the summer take longer to stop completely, especially if the roads are wet. This means the best tire to use on wet roads in the summer are your summer or performance tires, since these tires are made with wet roads in mind. In warm, wet weather, winter tires are particularly dangerous because they are prone to sliding in these conditions! This could cause an increased risk of car accidents. In fact, summer tires are usually the best choice for any weather above 7°C.

#2: Winter tires are harder to steer in summer

Winter tires are designed with slush and snow in mind. Contrary to popular belief, winter tires do not gain traction only by gripping the ice or digging into the snow. In fact, the tread on winter tires grabs and holds on the snow just like your winter boots. Winter tires are designed this way because the snow stuck in the tire tread grips the snow on the ground better than rubber. What a cool fact!

So, what does this mean for summer driving? This specialized winter tread is great for snow, but it can cause problems in warm weather. Due to this special winter tread, winter tires cannot turn or manoeuvre as easily or efficiently as summer tires. The winter tread may also decrease fuel efficiency, so you’ll be paying more for gas on your long road-trips or sitting in summer traffic.

Losing some maneuverability and efficiency in the summer might not seem like a big deal, but it can have serious consequences! For example, the reduced maneuverability could prove critical in unpredictable situations. On the road, anything can happen, so handling precision and reaction time could spell the difference between an accident or simply a quick manoeuvre.

#3: Winter tires don’t last long in the summer season

Winter tires are made from soft compounds, which are ideal for gripping the road in icy or snowy conditions. They also help grab onto snow to improve traction. Unfortunately, this soft compound deteriorates much faster in warm seasons. Hot temperatures, like those experienced in July and August, are especially bad for winter tires. At high temperatures the soft tread compounds will deteriorate or even break, leading to much faster wear and tear. Not only will this be a hassle, but it will cost you more because you’ll have to replace your winter tires sooner.

What’s the difference? Summer tires vs. Winter tires

Differences In: Summer Tires Winter Tires
Ideal Temperature Summer tires are ideal for temperatures above 7°C. Use winter tires when the temperature starts to dip below 7°C.
Tire and Tread Made from harder rubber compounds and comes with large tread blocks for maximum contact with road surfaces during summer. Made with a deep tread pattern to prevent slush buildup, and this cuts in the tread to hold onto snow, giving better traction in winter conditions.
Capabilities Summer tires provide better grip in warmer temperatures in both wet and dry conditions. Summer tires also provide better maneuverability and fuel efficiency. Winter tires provide better handling in snowy, icy, and cold conditions.

It’s important to understand why winter tires shouldn’t be used in the summer season! For more car safety and tire use information, talk to a local car insurance expert from BrokerLink today.

Follow our winter tire usage tips then consider your car insurance options

Proper use of tires during the summer months will help you save money, increase fuel efficiency, and reduce the risk of car accidents. To further prepare and protect yourself, consider your car insurance options by calling a local BrokerLink Insurance advisor, or get a quick quote now.

FAQs Why winter tires shouldn’t be used in summer

Are winter tires the same as studded tires?

Winter tires gain traction by using soft and grippy rubber compound with specially designed treads to increase traction in wintry conditions. Studded tires use little studs or spikes in the tread to dig into ice and snow giving excellent traction. These tires are best for areas which get lots of snow, because studded tires wear down quickly when used on dry roads.

Can I reuse my winter tires for next year’s winter?

Maybe! Winter tires are meant to be used for a number of seasons, but it depends on driving conditions and how much the tires are used. Many tires have tire wear indicators built in, but it’s best to trust your mechanic to tell you when to replace your tires.

When is the best time to buy winter tires?

If it’s the winter, the best time to get winter tires is now! But if you prefer to plan ahead, Fall is often when you’ll get the best deals and the most variety. Just be sure to book your installation appointment early, because they can fill up quickly!