‘Tis the season for winter tyres

24th December 2012

The debate surrounding winter tyres is a significant one. Often, people question how much of an effect changing the four pieces of rubber on your car can really have on road handling. However, the benefits are becoming more and more revered and recommended by leading brands and organisations.

The number of people who are fitting winter tyres to their vehicle is on the increase. However, the total of those that use winter tyres in the UK is vastly lower than the total of our European cousins.

In Holland and Belgium – European countries that have a similar climate – between 31 and 34 per cent of vehicles were fitted with winter tyres in 2011, whereas in the UK only 3.1 per cent were fitted, AutoTrader reports.

Winter tyres, as described by Michelin, use a higher proportion of natural rubber, which performs with silica-based compounds to achieve more flexibility on the roads in cold conditions.

In addition to this, winter tyres have a different tread pattern. By including more sipes – cuts in the rubber – tyres are able to remove water from the surface more quickly, which subsequently allows for an increase in grip on snow and icy surfaces.

Speaking to just-auto, Kate Rock and James Bailey of Goodyear Dunlop gave their knowledge about winter tyres.

Both spoke about how winter tyres work better in temperatures below seven degrees celsius. The customer and brand public relations officials also noted that in the UK, we experience these temperatures up to 150 days of the year.

Goodyear Dunlop believes that appropriate tyres should be fitted for appropriate seasons. In winter, summer tyres may not only offer less grip on the roads, but may also hinder mileage performance.

One of the biggest factors that make winter tyres so important is the significant decrease in stopping distance that they allow. For example, as reported by Michelin, an average car travelling at 50km/h on snow will take 48 metres to come to a halt. However, cold weather tyres will stop your vehicle in 24m – half the distance.

Continental has been awarded ‘Best Winter Tyre’ in the 2012 Auto Express product awards, and also picked up a ‘Best Buy’ accolade from Which? Magazine.

Auto Express said that the Continental ContiWinterContact TS830P won the award as the tyre produces “consistently good performances”.

“Great all round performance with no weaknesses, sees off winter rivals and takes the win,” Auto Express added.

Brand manager at Continental, Peter Robb, said: “This additional win for the ContiWinterContact TS830P is an excellent endorsement for our product range and comes at a time of growing awareness of the need for winter tyres within the UK market.”

It is recommended that winter tyres are fitted to all four wheels and not just the driving ones. Tyres are the only point of contact your car has with the road, so it is imperative that all are fitted for appropriate weather conditions.

Michelin advises that all fittings of winter tyres and wheel balancing should be left to the experts, as they will have the correct equipment and techniques. At ATS Euromaster, each purchase and fitting of a new tyre is always delivered with a complimentary wheel balancing, to ensure extra safety.

For great prices on a range of winter tyres and for additional services, visit ATS Euromaster

Posted by Forthcoming poor weather in the UK highlights importance of winter tyres