Let’s say you’re trying to stretch your tire budget this year and there’s only enough for one set of tires. You might think, I’ll buy winter tires because conditions are worse in the winter, and I’ll drive them all year long.
Unfortunately, winter tires weren’t designed for year-round use, and even though they’ll keep your vehicle rolling in July, you’ll be sacrificing performance, fuel economy and the life of your tires.
Why winter tires aren’t designed for year-round use
Tire engineers have spent decades perfecting rubber compound formulas to stand up against specific weather conditions at different types of year.
The compound of a winter tire is designed to stay soft and give grip at temperatures below 7 C. All-season and summer tires have a harder compound that gives their best grip at temperatures above 7 C, and on warm, dry and mild wet conditions.
There’s also the tread pattern of your tires. Winter tires have an aggressive tread pattern that’s perfect for biting ice and snow and pushing away slush, while all-season and summer tires offer quiet, comfortable low rolling resistance rides in dry and mild wet conditions.
The risks of driving your winter tires year-round
Faster wear and possibly uneven wear
On warm and hot road surfaces, a winter tire’s rubber compound will wear quickly, and because of the unusually fast wear, that wear may be uneven. Winter tires are meant to last two or three seasons, but when they’re on your vehicle 12 months in a row, you’re going to have to replace them a lot sooner.
Poor performance on dry pavement
Winter tires are designed to give superior traction on ice and snow. On dry and wet roads, however, you’re sacrificing handling. In addition, winter tires in the summer will be squirmy and noisy.
Summer tires have a harder compound that makes them roll easily, and that means savings at the pump. You’ll definitely spend more on fuel by driving your winter tires year-round .
If you only have the budget for one set of tires this year, but it’s time to replace both, now you don’t have to choose between summer and winter tires. The Nokian all-weather tires are a designated winter tire with class-leading grip and stability in both the cold and warm months.
Check out our post Nokian All-weather Tires: A Winter Tire You Can Use All Year Long.
It’s important to have the safety and peace of mind that comes from having a tire that’s right for your needs. Let our tire experts help you choose the best tire for you at a Kal Tire location near you today.
Feature Image: ©iStockphoto.com/supergenijalac