The Danger of Using Summer Tires in the Winter

October 13, 2020 11:33 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Summer is over, fall is here and winter is well on its way—which means it’s high time for you to swap out your summer tires. If you’re new to the Midwest (or just don’t understand why you need separate tires for different seasons), you might not realize the risks of using summer tires in winter in Athens County, OH. After all, tires are tires, right? What could be the harm of using the same tires all year long?

Why you need to swap your tires with the seasons

Unfortunately, summer tires are much less adept at handling the icy, snowy winter weather. Here are the main reasons to change your tires before winter comes to Athens County, OH.

To understand why you need to switch out your tires, you first need to understand the difference between winter and summer tires. Summer tires are designed to grip wet and dry roads more firmly, but once the temperature drops, they lose traction. They’re meant to have lower rolling resistance to improve handling and efficiency, but that comes at a price. The pliability of the rubber decreases along with the temperature—that’s why winter tires are made of rubber that can handle -60 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer tires, on the other hand, are downright slippery once the mercury reaches zero.

Winter tires have sipes (small slits in the tread) and a deeper tread so that they can plow through snow and grip icy roads. This allows your car to accelerate faster and brake quickly in slick conditions, whereas summer tires might roll over ice, skid or get stuck in the snow. The lighter grip and shallow tread can’t handle snow and ice like winter tires are designed to do.

Your summer tires can also suffer damage during the cold winter. Again, this has to do with the pliability of the rubber. Summer tires become significantly less pliable in cold weather, which increases the possibility that they will lose traction and crack. Driving on summer tires in the winter may also chip the thread block, which gets stiffer in the cold. Cracked or chipped tires are dangerous and will need to be replaced—you won’t save any money by failing to switch your tires, and you’ll be far less safe on the road.

Is there an alternative to switching tires?

If the thought of changing out your tires every time the weather changes sounds like a pain, there is another option: consider purchasing all-season tires instead of separate sets for summer and winter weather. They’re designed to have enough traction to get you through the snow, but will handle well when the mercury rises.

Since you can leave all-season tires on your car all year round, you’ll save a lot of money and time on switching out your tires or having a mechanic do it for you.

To get the best summer, winter or all-season tires in Athens County, OH, visit Dana’s Tire Center. Call us today to get a quote or learn more about what we have in stock!

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