Is it time for winter tyres?

15th October 2013

Despite the glorious summer and the mild autumn so far in the UK, the temperatures are beginning to drop, bringing with them dark mornings and wet weather. With this in mind, many drivers will be asking themselves if it is time to start thinking about winter tyres.

The short answer is yes, as when the mercury drops below seven degrees C, summer tyres stop performing at their best.

Many motorists make the mistake of assuming winter tyres only perform well when snow or ice is on the ground, however, they operate well in cold weather, providing better grip and reducing braking distances when compared to standard tyres.

TyreSafe research has found that a car with cold weather tyres travelling at 19mph on an icy road will stop 11 metres sooner than one using standard tyres, which could be the difference between stopping in time or causing a collision.

The softer compound and extra grooves in the tread pattern of winter tyres provide excellent grip when other tyres struggle at lower temperatures.

But, with so many winter tyres on the market at the moment, how do you know which ones are best for you and your vehicle?

Check the size

This may seem like an obvious step, but it is worth pointing out : Make sure winter or cold weather tyres are the same size as the ones already fitted on your vehicle.

Checking the sidewall of your tyres and ensuring the number match is a surefire way of ensuring your second set of wheels are appropriate and will perform correctly when fitted to your vehicle.

Check the pressure

Checking the pressure of cold weather tyres is just as important as monitoring the pressure of standard tyres. Motorists should look into the pressures of their winter tyres regularly to ensure they are in optimum condition.

While checking pressure readings it is also worth taking a few minutes to check for any damage, punctures, blisters or bulges, all of which can compromise the integrity of a vehicle's tyres, no matter what the season.

When the times comes to bring the summer tyres back out, it's also worth checking their pressures, as it's likely they will be under inflated after a winter not being utilised.

Consider storage

Cold weather tyres are available at a range of different prices and it is important that motorists pick a set of tyres that will last for many years to come. While this is a positive point when it comes to spending money, it does mean storage needs to be considered, both for standard tyres during the winter months and cold weather tyres during the summer.

Drivers can find out detailed information about cold weather tyres from trained technicians, who will be able to recommend a suitable product based on average winter mileage.

In terms of storage, it is best for tyres to be bagged up correctly and stored in a safe and secure garage or shed.

Posted by Danielle Barge