is it ok to leave winter tires on all year? (disadvantages)

When it comes time to switch from winter tires to summer tires, drivers are divided into several categories.

Some drivers continue to use winter tires even when it’s quite warm outside, and sometimes they plan to drive in them all summer to save on a summer kit. This decision is most often made due to the fact that winter tires have already worn out by the warm season, and the car owner does not plan to use them next winter.

is it ok to leave winter tires on all year

The second category of drivers purchases all-season tires and uses them all year round.

The plans of the third group of car owners are to go to a tire shop and replace winter tires with summer ones. But drivers can’t decide on the right model in any way, or they simply constantly put off a visit to tire fitters. The process can be delayed until the onset of hot summer days, until, finally, such drivers arrive to “change shoes”.

And, finally, most drivers regularly change winter tires for summer tires at the time when it is recommended to do this – in stable warm weather from +7 and above. Such drivers usually have summer and winter sets of tires or wheel assemblies, which are updated as they wear out.

All drivers from these categories are responsible for their own safety and decide on their own whether to change winter tires to summer ones or not at all. But we must be wary of the dangers that winter tires can face on summer roads.

In the material, we will analyze what threatens the use of winter tires in the summer season.

First, let’s clarify in the regulations whether it is possible to drive on winter tires in the summer season. Regulations require drivers to use winter tires on cars during December, January, and February. A clear time for the transition from the winter set to the summer set is not indicated. Drivers are urged to navigate the weather and switch from “winter” to “summer” during the three spring months.

Bottom line: Drivers are required to drive with or without studded winter tires during the three winter months and not use studded tires from June to August. In spring and autumn, the car owner is guided by his own ideas about safety and, in accordance with the weather, switches from one seasonal kit to another.

Do you want to know When To Use Studded Winter Tires?

is it ok to leave winter tires on all year?

To answer the question is it ok to leave winter tires on all year and why it is impossible to drive on winter tires in the summer, and why driving on a winter set is dangerous in the warm season, we will analyze the features of different types of tires.

Winter tires. Their tread pattern includes deep drainage channels, large blocks with sharp edges, and metal spikes (in studded models). These elements are present on the tire in order to provide the car with a confident grip on ice, snow, “snow porridge” and precise handling in winter conditions.

The composition of rubber compound of this type of tire has a special softness, which allows the wheels to withstand severe frosts. Unlike winter tires, more rigid summer tires “tan” at low temperatures.

But due to the same increased elasticity, winter wheels lose their properties in warm weather. They begin to brake and grip worse, and are more easily damaged when the air temperature rises above +7°C.

In addition, driving on winter tires in the summer will lead to increased fuel consumption and too rapid tire wear.

Worn-out winter tires have been found to grip well on dry roads, which is why many car owners are tempted to ride them longer after the winter is over.

There’s a catch: tires with a lot of wear may indeed have good grip on dry surfaces, but in the first rain they will most likely let you down. Such tires will not be able to protect against hydroplaning on wet roads, which is especially important in the warm season.

Another unpleasant moment can await you while driving on winter tires on a dry summer road increased noise in the car.

The main tasks of summer tires are to provide good handling and grip on wet surfaces and the predictable behavior of a car on dry, hot roads. Their main mission is to protect the car and its owner from insidious aquaplaning.

To fit the purpose, summer tires have their own tread and rubber composition. The tread pattern has longitudinal deep drainage channels, a lot of slots that get rid of moisture in the contact patch. The drainage system works to ensure that the car is stably driven on a wet surface, including when maneuvering.

Summer wheels have low viscosity and are stiffer than winter ones. They need this property in order not to “melt” on a hot summer surface and at high air temperatures. Thus, they retain their characteristics in hot weather.

Summer tires are formulated to maintain good grip and low rolling resistance, which improves fuel economy.

The characteristics of all-season tires are a compromise between the properties of summer and winter tires. Wheels of this type can be used all year round. For too high temperatures in summer and severe frosts in winter, all-weather tires are not designed: here they lose to “specialized” summer and winter wheels. The rubber compound of all-season wheels is less rigid than the rubber of summer models, therefore it wears out quickly in the summer. At the same time, all-weather tires are not soft enough to provide reliable traction and braking properties in winter. Best of all, such tires show themselves in the range from -7 to +15 degrees Celsius.

Car enthusiasts prefer all-season tires for cost reasons and this is indeed a smart option for some drivers. For example, if their driving style is relaxed, their annual car mileage is low, and they live in a climate with mild winters. Note that all-season tires will have to be changed much more often than seasonal ones.

Here is guide on Recommended Winter Tires Temperature Range.

disadvantages of winter tires in summer

disadvantages of winter tires in summer

disadvantages of Winter Tires in Summer:

  • Due to the softness of rubber, winter tires in summer will not provide the proper level of grip and braking, and therefore are unsafe for motorists and other road users.
  • When using winter tires in summer, acoustic comfort may have to be sacrificed.
  • Riding a winter kit in the summer season is uneconomical. A car with winter tires will use more fuel.
  • Wear of winter tires in summer is much greater than in the cold season.
  • The law states that driving cars with studded tires is prohibited during the three summer months. There are no restrictions on the use of non-studded wheels.

Read How Fast Can You Drive On Winter Tires on our blog.

Conclusion

driving on winter tires without studs in the summer is not prohibited, but for a drivers, it will be expensive, uncomfortable, and risky.
In this case, other road users are also at risk. In the warm season, tires should provide the driver with safe driving on dry and wet surfaces in any summer weather, and protect against hydroplaning. All-season tires are good for the off-season, but in frosty winters or hot summers, they won’t give the desired level of safety on the road.

Tire companies are implementing the latest technologies to develop the most functional tread pattern and improve the rubber compound for summer and winter models. Products are developed taking into account the peculiarities of the weather in winter and summer, so that movement in any conditions, at any time of the year is comfortable and safe.

We advise you to switch from the winter set to the summer set in a timely manner and fully experience comfortable handling on trips both on rainy days and in the heat in the warm season.

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