Why You Shouldn’t Use Winter Tires Year-Round
By Integra Tire Canada
When the snow starts to melt, it is time to make an appointment with Integra Tire to have your winter tires changed over. We’ve often heard the question “Can’t I just run my winter tires all year?” – this is a bad idea that will cost you more in the long run and jeopardize your safety. We will address the reasons why in this resource page.
First and foremost, they have a very different rubber compound. Winter tires are made with a special rubber compound designed to stay flexible and grip ice and snow in cold-weather conditions (below 7 degrees Celsius). When the weather heats up, the hot pavement can be especially hard on winter tire rubber and they will wear out much faster. For this reason, you’ll find yourself wearing through a set of winter tires exponentially faster when you operate them year-round.
The tread of a tire is the rubber on its circumference; it’s the exact point where your vehicle meets the road. Each tire’s tread is different, but most tires built for the same season have overall tread designs that accomplish similar things such as sweeping away water, helping you brake, etc. The road conditions in the winter vs spring/summer are much different; thus, the tread design of winter tires vs all-seasons are much different.
Check out the below comparison of treads between a Cooper all-season tire (left) and winter tire (on the right). The winter tire’s tread is designed with wider and deeper grooves and has sharp, alternating edges. It is built for snow and ice, not the conditions you will encounter other times of the year. By using this tread in the spring and summer, your vehicle will suffer on performance, fuel efficiency, handing, cornering, and overall safety.
Compared to their all-season counterparts, winter tires have a much higher rolling resistance. Rolling resistance is the friction generated as your tire is rolling, and slows down your vehicle. To counter this effect, you will be pressing your gas pedal to adjust your speed more often as you travel and roll to stops. It may or may not be entirely noticeable in your everyday driving, but you will notice it at the pump as you fill your tank more often.
The Overall Summary
Winter tires and all-season tires each have their purpose; therefore, it’s important to use each for their intended use. You will save more money, have a better driving experience, and be safer on the road.
Questions? Our Advisors are Happy to Help!If you have questions about anything you've read in this resource page, contact your nearest Integra Tire dealer for more information. We are passionate in assisting our customers make the best choices to keep their vehicles in tip-top shape and keep their families safe.
About UsIntegra Tire is a network of independent tire, automotive, and maintenance dealers across Canada.