Loss of traction and poor grip
Summer tyres have lower rolling resistance than winter tyres; this improves efficiency and handling while also reducing noise levels. The tread on these performance tyres, however, performs poorly on ice and snow.
In winter weather, summer tyres have poor acceleration. Winter tyres or snow tyres will outperform them on snowy roads. Summer tyres have low rolling resistance, resulting in long brake distances on ice or snow. A winter tyre has a deep tread that digs into snow and grips to ice, providing shorter braking time. By contrast, the compound of winter tyres is much softer and less vulnerable to cold temperatures.
The rubber compound on summer tyres is designed for warm weather. As the temperature drops, the rubber stiffens. Even if there is no snow or ice, the tyre loses traction.
Even all-season tyres suffer from less effective snow traction. These tyres have an increased risk of slippage while turning, accelerating, and braking. In regions with heavy snowfall, we recommend swapping out the all-season tyres for winter tyres.
Risk of damage due to cold temperatures
Even on dry roads without ice and snow, winter brings colder temperatures. Summer tyres are not built for cold weather. The tyre tread will stiffen. In addition to reducing traction, this poses a risk to the tyre itself.
The tyre loses its elasticity and may crack. There's a risk of chipping of the overly stiff thread block. Chipped and cracked tyres are not safe to drive on and must be replaced.
Driving with summer tyres in the winter can be considered improper use, and the warranty will usually not cover resulting damage.
If your local weather conditions are mild, you may equip your car with all-season tyres in the winter, or year-round. The right tyre depends on how cold it gets, plus your driving style and number of kilometres driven.
All-season radials are not suitable for extreme winter conditions, however. They brake slower than winter tyres, posing a safety risk. They are also less efficient in warm, dry conditions than a summer tyre.