Winter tyres in summer?

Bad choice and serious consequences

More wear and tear and longer braking distances are just the beginning of the problems
What do tourists' cars on winter tyres do in Hel or Mielno in the middle of summer? Is it a good patent for savings? It was checked by experts from TÜV SÜD. Driving on winter tyres in summer is a real danger. As shown by these tests, riding on winter tyres in the warm months of the year means much worse grip. As much as 9 meters of difference in braking distance on a dry road – that is, two lengths of the popular Skoda Octavia car. You do not need hot days to drastically extend the vehicle's braking distance on winter tyres.

Treating driving with winter tyres in the summer as a saving is just as reasonable as driving your car on vacation without valid insurance. Experts agree that in such a situation it will be better to use the train or bus.

All tests confirm that winter tyres are dangerous and uneconomical to ride in the summer. It costs us more, the tyres wear out faster, and the braking distance is much longer. Therefore, replacing winter tyres with summer tyres is not an unpleasant or unnecessary obligation – it is our duty to ensure road safety for all road users, not only for us and our loved ones. This is a real impact on safety while driving and better performance not only in braking, but also in demanding road and weather conditions – comments Piotr Sarnecki, General Director of the Polish Tyre Industry Association (PTIA).

Link to the video:

Association (PZPO), the differences in the braking distance are enormous. The tests carried out at +23 degrees Celsius (the surface warmed up to +40 degrees C) show that the use of winter tyres on a dry surface contributes to a significant extension of the distance after which we stop our vehicle. How long is the episode? TÜV SÜD and PZPO tests show that the differences amount to more than two car lengths. In practice, it's 9 meters! This is what you can save by using dedicated tyres and braking from a speed of 85 km/h at a temperature of +23 degrees C.

The soft rubber compound that winter tyres are made of is not able to work properly when the road warms up to 50-60 degrees. This temperature range is not unusual on hot days. The results of tests on a dry surface confirm how big differences can be obtained with the use of the correct tyres. Also on wet surfaces, a car with summer tyres will stop faster than with winter tyres. TÜV SÜD and PZPO tests show that the difference is 8 meters. This is a colossal length considering the fact that sometimes you literally miss a meter to avoid a collision or hit - which can be dramatic – explains Piotr Sarnecki.

It should be emphasized that TÜV SÜD recommends in the report an obligatory change of tyres depending on the season and changing weather conditions – even though Polish regulations do not impose such a necessity. This is the result of specific research results. Therefore, it should be remembered that winter tyres – as the name suggests – are intended for driving in lower temperatures. Their grip is higher compared to summer tyres below the temperature of 7 ° C. This is due to the fact that a different mixture is used for their production. In tests carried out on dry and wet surfaces in typical summer conditions, summer tyres showed a much higher grip coefficient – outclassing the winter equivalent in terms of braking distance, which is a key element of road safety for all users.

Information about the tests

The test method consists of a procedure for measuring deceleration and distance traveled during emergency braking with an instrumented passenger car equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), where 'instrumented passenger car' means a passenger car equipped with measuring instruments. The average deceleration is calculated over the speed range of 85 km / h to 0 km / h, which is a complete stop. The test was carried out at the Skoda Autodrom track in Poznań, after prior verification of the tyres to confirm their proper condition, the tyre parameters were determined during the verification (205/55 R 16 91H). The tyres have undergone a lapping process to remove any projections from the tread surface caused by vents and broken molds. The DATRON measuring device with the DLS 2 optoelectric sensor was used to measure the speed on wet and dry surfaces and the distance traveled in the adopted speed range.

Source: Polish Tyre Industry Association