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Winter Tyres - should you change them?

With the forecast for snow I thought I would share a little information about snow tyres, we can supply these for you from our site in Martlesham.

In the United Kingdom most cars are fitted with summer tyres, these are the norm and the quality and tread patterns vary with use rather than conditions. Winter tyres are designed specifically to remain supple in colder temperatures, they remain more flexible and grippy and maximise traction when driving on snow and ice

Winter tyres use a softer rubber compound which stays softer in low temperatures, manufacturers add more rubber into the mix in production to achieve the softer performance. The surface of the tyre has a high number of small jagged slits - called sipes. These increase the tyre's surface area against the road and improve traction. The tyres also have deeper tread grooves than normal tyres, this is to help displace water. The tread pattern is also designed to collect snow, further improving traction on snow and ice.

Winter tyres are also designed to gather a snowy 'in-fill' in the grooves on the tyre surface and in the sipes to help with grip on packed snow. Can you recall rolling snow balls and how the snow picks up snow! Nothing grips snow as well as snow and winter tyres exploit this by gathering and holding as much of it as possible.

The tread with the extra deep grooves also help the tyres to disperse surface water, this usually increase resistance to aquaplaning, where the tyre passes on top of the water rather than through it, increasing the risk of losing control of the car.

If you have snow tyres and want them fitting, or you are thinking about buying them please give us a call.

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Dave Chapman Ltd, including:-

Richard Pipe, Car Repairs Martlesham