All About the Different Types of Tires
The tires ensure the stability of the trajectory, the damping of roughness, load transfers, the transmission of engine energy, and the quality of braking. In other words, it is the tires that keep you safe on the road when the car is in motion. These are all reasons why it is important that you choose tires approved for your type of vehicle, and adapted to the climatic conditions in which you are driving. Indeed, the performance of your tires also depends on the conditions in which they are used, and changing them according to the seasons is an excellent way to preserve their rubber and your safety!
It is therefore important to choose between the 4 existing types of tires: summer, winter, 4 seasons and studded and to differentiate between each category to be sure not to make mistakes. Focus on the specifics of each type of tire, the conditions in which they must be used, as well as their respective advantages and disadvantages.
The Summer Tire:
The summer tire is the best known and most used of all. It is usually made from several different gums and has been designed to ride at temperatures above 7 ° C. Thanks to a mixture of hard rubber compounds which does not soften under the effect of heat, the summer tire performs very well on dry and wet surfaces. In particular, it has a large network of longitudinal and transverse grooves that allow water to drain away when the road is wet. These tires offer the advantage of being endowed with long life, but it is still necessary to carry out regular checks of their condition in order to detect signs of wear in time (by referring to the wear indicators in particular). Below 7 ° C, you must change the tire, since the rubber will start to harden and lose its grip. Of course, it is strongly prohibited to use this type of tire in the snow.
The use of winter tires is recommended as soon as the temperature drops below 7 ° C. Unfortunately, only 16% of drivers know this threshold of 7%, the others not necessarily paying attention to this kind of detail when winter comes. Note that this type of tire is recognized by a pictogram representing 3 peaks and a snowflake.
To ensure you ride safely, winter tires have a deeper tread than summer tires, and wide grooves allow snow to escape. Thanks to their thin and elastic lateral tread patterns, these tires are able to compress the infiltrated snow and by producing heat, it will be evacuated in the form of water. In addition, their special rubber, made from silica, guarantees better braking. Compared to a summer tire, braking distances are reduced by 10% on wet ground and by 20% on the snow-covered ground! On a braking distance of 50 km / h on the snowy ground, there will be a 31 m difference between the 2 types of tires. Note, however, that despite proven performance on snowy or muddy roads, these tires must be replaced with more suitable tires as soon as the temperature rises above 7 ° C. They should also not be confused with Nordic tires or snow tires, which now belong to a category in their own right.
4 Season Tires:
All-season tires are a type of hybrid tire with a longer life span than that offered by summer and winter tires. As in Europe, drivers tend to use summer tires all year round, the 4-season tire has been designed for use all year round in regions with a low probability of snowfall and more specifically in temperature conditions between -10 ° C and +30 ° C. Made from a mixture of soft gums, this tire has the same grooves as winter tires, in order to optimize the car's handling in wet conditions. The all-season tire is an ideal alternative for those who want to avoid paying tire change costs. However, we have to admit that for driving on snow or on very dry ground, winter or summer tires remain the most efficient.
Studded tires have holes for inserting 100/150 studs into the tread. This particular design was implemented in order to ensure better road holding and to limit their wear as much as possible. They are also popular for driving on ice. Offered at a price that is 40% higher than that of other types of tires, studded tires are equipment whose use is strictly regulated by law so that their impact on road wear is limited. The use of these tires is limited each year to the Saturday preceding November 11 and the last Sunday in March. They must also not travel at more than 90 km / h, and the vehicle on which they are installed must have a specific badge clearly visible. The use of studded tires is no longer very common, especially among private individuals. They are less and less appreciated for the noise and the feeling of discomfort they produce.