How Do Winter Tyres Work?

image of winter road conditions in the uk

When the temperature starts to drop, it is advisable to switch to winter tyres. But what is the difference between summer tyres and winter tyres? How do winter tyres work compared to summer tyres in the cold weather?

The winter season can be tough on cars. The roads are littered with grit and salt. The weather conditions such as rain and ice, leading to slippery and sometimes dangerous driving conditions.

Luckily, there are a few ways in which you can prepare your car for winter and the cold weather.


How do winter tyres work in cold weather?

Winter tyres are designed to effectively deal with wet and icy roads, which are prone at that time of year. These tyres are specifically designed and manufactured to operate at certain temperatures. 

Cold temperatures affect the stiffness of the rubber compound on tyres. Winter tyres give it the flex it needs to maximise the friction between the rubber and the road surface. They are made of a softer compound compared to regular summer tyres, which means that as temperatures drop below seven degrees centigrade, the rubber on winter tyres stays malleable, rather than becoming rigid. 

Compared to standard tyres, winter tyres increase the general grip and braking distances. Winter tyres feature more crevices and grooves in the tyre tread design, this helps navigate the sheer amount of water found on the roads during this season, making it easier to control as there is a coefficient of friction.

The rubber compounds used within winter tyres are designed only to work at low temperatures, so this means that they’re nowhere near their optimum performance when used in spring or summer conditions. Mainly because the rubber becomes far too soft and heats up quickly due to increased friction. It is always advisable to take your winter tyres off during those months as it can make the handling of the car less responsive.

Contact Longbridge Tyres

If you’re interested in getting a new set of summer of winter tyres, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with Longbridge Tyres today. Call us on 0121 457 7582, alternatively, you can fill out our online contact form and we’ll be in touch.