Mon May 10 12:53 pm 2021 in categories Company news, Product news

Nokian Tyres Helps Drivers with All-Season and All-Weather Tire Selection

Some drivers are tempted to drive their winter tires during the spring season. According to an expert from Nokian Tyres, this is risky for drivers and traffic. The company offers more info in a Tire Draft, held May 10-14 on its social media channels.

DAYTON, Tenn. – There’s nothing like driving a set of responsive winter tires when conditions turn cold and dangerous. Indeed, in many parts of North America it’s vital to rely on a set of winter or all-weather tires, whose softer compounds safeguard drivers in snow, ice and cold.

But once snow and ice melt and warm weather sets in, those same tires can be liabilities. The very compounds crafted to make tires safe in winter conditions aren’t built to withstand heat or consistently wet roads. Simply put, winter tires do not have the necessary characteristics for safe summer driving, even if they have sufficient tread depth.

”We design our winter tires to be reliable in snow and ice,” says Steve Bourassa, Nokian Tyres North America’s director of products and pricing. “But winter strength becomes summer weakness, and it’s important that drivers consider all-season or all-weather tires once temperatures warm.”

Nokian Tyres is offering drivers information on appropriate spring and summer driving options below, and in a Tire Draft it’s holding on its social media channels May 10 through 14. Drivers can visit @NokianTyresNA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to learn more.

Wet asphalt is challenging for winter tires

Several tests have determined that winter tires perform poorly in the spring and summer. The differences are especially clear in rain.

A 2019 tire test from Finnish automotive magazine Tekniikan Maailma shows that when a worn non-studded tire is used to brake from a speed of 80 kilometers per hour (about 50 miles per hour), the car will still be going 40 km/h (25 mph) by the time a new summer tire would have stopped. Braking grip on dry asphalt is also clearly poorer than with all-season or summer tires.

The test also reveals that controlled driving on wet asphalt is nearly impossible with worn winter tires, since sliding starts without warning and restoring control of the vehicle is challenging.

In warm weather, winter tires steer slowly and feel unstable to drive

The heavy block pattern and densely siped tread make winter tires steer more slowly than all-season tires. When a tire steers slowly, it will not be as precise when it faces surprising conditions.

“If you assume during a sudden evasion that winter tires will steer as quickly as all-season tires, you may end up crashing or veering off the road,” Bourassa says.

Non-studded winter tires or tires with studs removed are also less stable than their all-season or all-weather counterparts. The winter tread compound combined with a block pattern is no match for summer tires in terms of rigidity.

“On a hot day, you will need to make steering corrections with winter tires even when driving straight,” says Bourassa, “since the tire will have more lateral flexibility than all-season tires, which are more rigid.”

Tires wear down quickly in warm weather

Winter tires have soft tread compounds designed for winter use; in hot weather, they will generate an unnecessarily high amount of heat and increase the overall thermal load of the winter tire.

“When the tread is too warm, this will transfer to the tire structure,” says Bourassa. “This results in durability problems. In the worst case, the tire components may break apart, causing the structure to fail. This will cause the tire to break.”

Instead of driving winter tires year-round, Nokian Tyres recommends that drivers in northern locales purchase a set of all-season tires to use in spring and summer. In areas that receive milder winter weather, all-weather tires may be a good fit, as they are approved for winter use but suitable for year-round driving. However, there is no safer option in places that experience severe winter weather than a dedicated winter tire, with an all-season complement in spring and summer.

Nokian Tyres is hosting a Tire Draft May 10 through 14 to familiarize drivers with the all-season and all-weather options available to them. To learn more, drivers can visit the company’s social media channels: @NokianTyresNA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.