Summer vs. Winter Tires Written by Car Boy Auto Repair on May 11, 2018. Posted in Blog Summer has finally arrived in Vancouver! It almost felt like winter would never leave us, but now that it’s mostly gone (fingers crossed) it’s time to dust off your shorts and more importantly, switch up your tires. But what’s the difference between summer and winter tires? There are three essential differences between the two types of tires: rubber compound, structure, and tread pattern. 1. Rubber Compound Winter tires stay supple in the cold thanks to a higher natural rubber content. A softer rubber provides better traction on the road surface, allowing for better grip and handling. Summer tires, as well as all-seasons, have a lower natural rubber content and tend to become stiff in temperatures below 7 degrees C. However, they are able to adapt in warmer temperatures for better handling in dry and wet roads. 2. Structure Winter tires also feature thousands of tiny grooves, also known as sipes, and an increased number of biting edges to increase traction by biting into snow, slush, and ice. Summer tires, on the other hand, have less sipes but specially designed tread bars to provide more grip and minimize aquaplaning. 3. Tread Pattern Winter tires have deeper tread depths help to reduce snow build up and the unique tread pattern that channels snow and slush, and expelling water. Summer tires have simpler tread patterns that offers a larger braking distance. Rubber Compound Structure Tread Pattern Summer Lower natural rubber content that softens in milder temperatures, allows rubber to adapt to both dry and wet roads. Fewer sipes, but have specially designed tread bars to combat aquaplaning and allow for more grip on both we and dry road surfaces. Simpler tread pattern that contributes to excellent handling and a greater braking distances. Winter Higher natural rubber content allows tire to remain flexible in colder temperatures for better traction on slippery road surfaces Increased number of sipes and biting edges for better grip on ice and snow Deeper treads and unique tread pattern to help channel snow and slush, and ensure that there is enough traction to push a vehicle forward on snow and ice covered roads. With that being said, it is important to mount the right set of tires for the right season. Driving on winter tires during the spring would wear them down faster! So if you haven’t done so already, book your vehicle in to re-mount your summer or all-season tires. P.S. Did I mention we also offer storage services for your tires? Tags: tires Car Boy Auto Repair We're a well-established mechanic shop in the heart of Richmond, BC, passionate about racing and keeping you safe on the road.