Winter has arrived and already embraced the streets in its icy grasp, and that means we should start thinking about changing the summer tires with winter ones. But, have you ever questioned if they are really worth it and if they are, why is that?
The answers to such questions as well as some brief explanation are unselfishly given by Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained. According to him, there is enormous difference winter tires make vs summer tires and that difference is the biggest when temperatures drop.
So let’s hear what he has to say. As we can see in the video below, Jason has two vehicles for different purposes. In one corner of his garage placidly sits S2000 Honda project car that is getting summer tires while in the other corner he has a Subaru XV Crosstrek that is getting winter tires and will serve as his daily winter driver.
Something called glass transition temperature is one, if not the biggest, factor that makes summer tires better in summer and winter tires better in winter. This glass transition is the temperature at which the molecules in the rubber begin to move less freely around the tire making the tire harder. When compared with a winter tire, this transition happens at a far warmer temperature in a summer tire. On the other hand, the compound of summer tire helps it get nice and sticky when things get hotter while the winter tires are designed with a compound that remains flexible at low temperatures. All season tires are in a way a compromise between the two.
Winter tires also have deeper tread to be able to gather snow and more sipes. Summer tires have firm sidewalls to make handling better.
Each tire is designed to perform the best in the climate conditions it is recommended for. So, when the weather turns bright and sunny put summer tires, but for now, just stick to the winter ones because the snowy weather is just getting started. Watch the video below so you will no longer have an excuse for not using the right tires based on the season.