Winter tyres: The key features
Temperatures fall, and the risk of snow and ice increases. People still using summer tyres run the risk of having to pay a substantial fine as well as being a risk to road safety in general. That’s because winter tyres are at their best at the point where summer tyres reach their limits. Not just when snow falls, either. They also come into their own during wet weather as well as on dry, but cold roads.
Whether improved handling or a shorter braking distance – nothing beats them between October and Easter. Winter tyres improve stability within tracking and improve steering precision due to effective power transmission. The aquaplaning technology also assists drivers in areas with little snow but more rain.
The mixture makes the difference
Whether snow, rain, or just cold weather, winter tyres should offer one thing above everything else: maximum grip even in bad weather. That’s why all models contain a special rubber compound. What makes the difference: The high proportion of natural rubber. This makes the tyre softer and therefore provides stable traction even in cold conditions. The interaction between summer tyres changes quickly depending on temperature; they become more rigid and offer less grip. Summer tyres are less flexible in the cold and offer inferior traction and braking performance. This is even the case on a dry road.
With winter tyres, it’s different: their special composition ensures the proper degree of friction in winter. However: The softer the tyres, the greater the energy and petrol consumption, so your running costs can increase. Fillers, such as silica, and plasticisers, such as oils and resins, therefore play an essential part alongside the natural rubber. They make up around 40% of the composition of the rubber. The combination of individual components ultimately determines the hardness of the tyre and, therefore, whether it is a summer or winter tyre.