Winter Tyres


Are you considering winter tyres now?

It is mistakenly thought that winter tyres are for use only on snow and ice. Winter tyres are designed to be used in low temperature conditions (below 7°C). They provide better grip in these conditions and are much better in the snow than normal summer tyres.

Why are they better?

Winter tyres have a larger percentage of natural rubber in the compound to stop it from hardening as much as synthetic rubber does in cold conditions. This allows them to provide better grip in wet and dry conditions; the critical factor being the low temperature, ideal for long periods of winter weather i.e. British weather.

Key dealers for Vredestein the market leader for winter tyres, Mobile Tyre Maintenance should be the first place you call to get yours. We keep stock of the most popular sizes, with most other sizes next day delivery. We can also do tyre and wheel packages, or swop your winter and summer tyres on your wheels as the seasons change.

Benefits of winter tyres

  1. Increased road grip in low temperature conditions compared to summer tyres, this will also result in shorter stopping distances

  2. Money will be saved due to better fuel economy as the tyres will grip better and reduce the amount of tyre wear, prolonging tyre life

  3. Using the right tyres in their associated conditions will result in less tyre wear, saving on tyre wear for your summer tyres and thus saving money

  4. Road safety brownie points – okay this may not be of any value but winter tyres will reduce the chances of a car crash which surely holds no value


Winter and summer tyres differ essentially in two main areas: the profile and the composition of the rubber. The rubber composition of the tread of a winter tyre is softer at lower temperatures than the rubber of sum- mer tyres. This means the profile blocks are more flexible and the tyres generate more grip on the road. Thanks to the sipes that run across the tread, the tyre grips more easily on a snowy or icy surface. The rubber is much softer and it is recommended to change to summer tyres in the summer. The rubber composition of summer tyres is harder and more suitable for higher temperatures.

The rubber of a summer tyre is harder and hardly deforms at lower temperatures where as the rubber of a winter tyre
is flexible and this means it deforms more easily at lower temperatures.

The figures below show the difference in the hardness of the rubber composition. A road surface consists of uneven areas.

The rubber composition of a winter tyre allows the rubber to deform more easily than that of a summer tyre. This means increased com- pensation for bumps and more contact with the road surface. Driving with winter tyres in winter conditions is clearly much safer than with summer tyres.

A winter profile is characterised by the grooves in the profile blocks, the so-called sipes. These sipes make the tyre stick to the road surface as the profile of the tyre deforms when the wheel starts to turn. The sipes pro- vide grip when braking as well as accelerating. The sipes on the outside shoulder often run across the blocks while sipes are also provided in the drive direction (zigzag) to increase stability in bends.

To deform the profile block of a summer tyre (photo 1), considerable force needs to be exerted and only one gripping point is created on the road surface. With the sipes, the profile block of the winter tyre moves more easily (photo 2) and as many as four gripping points are created with only minor force.

Facts from:

Winter/Cold weather tyres

How do they work?

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