posted 7 years ago

Winter vs. Summer Tyres

What is the difference between winter and summer tyres?

What is the difference between winter and summer tyres? Considerable, in fact, as demonstrated by Tyresafe – one of the UK's leading tyre safety organisations. The premise of their experiment was simple. Take one ice rink and two Mercedes-Benz C- Class Estates. One vehicle had Michelin standard-fit summer tyres, the other was fitted with Michelin's Primacy Alpin winter tyres. The vehicles were then subjected to two tests.

The first was stopping distances. From fifteen miles-per-hour, the C-Class with summer tyres stopped in 9.75 metres. Its rival managed 7.01 metres - a difference of forty per-cent. Imagine that repeated at seventy miles-per-hour. The second test required the cars to negotiate a series of traffic cones. The vehicle with winter tyres successfully completed the course - whereas its opponent could not find enough traction to maintain the required line.

With winter coming it is worth considering buying specialist tyres. But hang on. 'Specialist' equipment - of whatever nature - tends to work beautifully within narrow parameters. In wider contexts it can be less successful. As such, winter tyres can wear quicker and be noisier than all-year rubber. They can also change the handling characteristics of vehicles. That would be fine if we were guaranteed months of ice – but it might be mild. Tricky call.