Summer Tires Guides
What makes a summer tire safe and comfortable? How much profile does a summer tire need? How do I know how old my tires are? How can I distinguish between the different manufacturers? Our large Tire.ca summer tire guide gives answers to all these questions - and many more. Catch up on summer tires!
Summer is just around the corner - high time for a change of tires! But is it really necessary to bring up new tires in summer? Are winter tires really bad? Many people think that summer doesn’t make harsh demands on the tires like winter does but the heat of summer can cause a number of safety problems, from aquaplaning to poor stability and handling in corners.
So a summer tire should provide the following benefits:
- Resistance to high temperatures
- Shorter braking distances in dry or wet conditions such as rain
- Good aquaplaning resistance
- Stability and improved handling for cornering
- A smooth ride
The materials used to make the tires are what provide the benefits of safety and stability providing grip and resistance to aquaplaning. Before renewable raw materials came into play in the manufacturing of tires they were made to a large extent from rubber and oil. Depending on the rubber compound selected, the tire stays flexible at low temperatures or withstands warm summer temperatures well.
How do the tire characteristics change when the weather gets warmer? If the rubber compound is for winter, when the temperature rises the tire becomes very soft and changes the rolling resistance causing more fuel consumption. When you put summer tires on you will get better performance and lower fuel consumption and emissions.
It makes more sense to store the winter tires for the summer weather as they will last longer than if they were to be driven during the hot weather.
Much more important than the financial aspect is the question of security. Because the harder material of a summer tire guarantees him a greater stability and a firmer grip, so a better grip.
Another issue of using winter tires in summer is braking distance, up to 16 meters longer for winter tires than summer tires and in a critical situation the shorter stopping distance may possibly save a life.
The profile of a summer tire
Its special profile helps the summer tires perform safely. And not just in the shorter stopping distance: even when wet a high quality tire should not lose traction. A sudden summer thunderstorm can bring a few liters of water without warning, a good tire should not let you down in this situation. A good summer tire will provide for better resistance to aquaplaning.
To circumvent the danger of aquaplaning, the profile of a summer tire is optimized so that the edge will effectively disperse water away from the tire.
The profile for summer tire is specially designed for driving on wet and dry surfaces. The rubber compound also keeps the tire from becoming too soft in higher temperatures.
What is the minimum tread depth for summer tires?
A summer tire is required to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6 millimeter, according to road traffic regulations. If your tire does not have that much it must be changed otherwise you could get fine or worse be involved in an accident.
But how do I know if my tires have already reached the minimum tread depth? It's simple: Each tire carries a so-called wear indicator. The sign is located high on the side wall and consists of small triangles and the symbol for TWI Tread Wear Indicator. Once there continuous webs can be seen, it is bald and should have a new tire mounted before you either have an accident or get fined.
However, experts unanimously advise to not wait with summer tires until the legal minimum tread depth is reached. After all, the balder it is, the worse the grip is. That is why summer tires should be replaced at a residual profile of 3 millimeters. How can I know whether the tires still have enough profile? The TWI does not help here because it only shows the minimum legal tread depth of 1.6 millimeters. However, there are profile gauges that can be borrowed at any gas station, also, in a pinch a simple euro coin will work. Place the coin between the tread: Is the edge of the tread covered, the tire has enough profile.
Here again is the most important data for tread depth at a glance:
- Tread depth should be minimum 1.6mm
- TWI on tire wall
- Tire should be replaced at 3.0mm which can be determined with a profile meter or euro coin
The tire change
But even when there is sufficient profile you may need a tire change. In addition to a worn profile and the change from winter to summer tires the following reasons may make the old tires unusable:
- The tire continually loses air pressure
- Mixed tires of any kind is strongly discouraged, the combination of radial and cross-ply is an example of mixing tires
- If the tire is too old
You do not have to go to the tire shop to switch from winter tires to summer tires, if they are mounted on separate wheels; you just need a few simple tools to quickly and easily change the tires.
Summer tires Guides: tire change
How do I know the tire age? How can the age of a tire be notice at all? A closer look at the tire you will see that on one side of it you will find the DOT number, a long sequence of numbers and letters. The DOT number reveals the expert view of manufacture and date of the tire.
The last four digits are of importance for the tires age, they tell the calendar week and year that the tire was manufactured. Thus it can be quite accurately determine how old a tire is.
The two circled numbers at the end of the DOT number stand for calendar week and year of manufacture.
Used and retreaded summer tires
Used tires are as a rule cheaper than mint condition, but the savings often are at the expense of safety. Summer tires are usually longer in use than winter tires, thus they are exposed to more wear. If you want to try to save by purchasing a used tire for summer use, you should look closely to see if the tire is in good condition.
Another way to save money when purchasing tires, is the choice of a retreaded tire. These are prepared from old tires when the tread of the carcass is released and exchanged for a new tread. Even with this method, as shown by independent tests, you are likely to have significant loss of quality.
Summer tire test
The EU tire label gives a brief overview of the tires properties; these include information on energy efficiency, wet grip of the tire, and pass-by noise. It shows the evaluation of the criteria that has been met and how the tire does in those tests which are carried out by independent bodies.
If you want to definitely have a safe trip Tire.ca advises you to take up one of the test winner summer tires. For the top tire the best mark of 5 stars are awarded in all 21 Test and we can only wish you a good trip.
Which tire sizes I need for my car?
Before ordering, you have to know which dimensions of the tire you need.
There are two ways to determine the proper tire dimensions: on the registration papers or the tire itself. Each tire carries a tire designation. On this hand stamp on the sidewall of the tire letter and number sequence, the dimensions of the tire can be read. The first three digits are relevant. Enter tire width in millimeters, profile cross section in percent and rim diameter in inches.
An example: The tire dimension 175/65 R14 often comes in big city-compatible small cars such as the VW Polo, the Ford Fiesta, the Fiat 500 or the Opel Corsa.
Now what are the individual figures? The tire is 175 millimeters wide, which is revealed the first three numbers. The cross-section profile amounts to 65% - in other words, the height of the edge is 65% of the width of the tread. The rim diameter in our sample tire measures 14 inches. The letter R in front of the customs declaration represents the type of carcass, in this case, the radial type.
In addition to this information for the tire size designation also provides information about the load capacity and speed index.
If you do not want to read from an old tire, you can look up the information in the vehicle documents. In the old registration document it can be found at paragraphs 20 to 23, in the new registration certificate, Part I under the number 15. Alternatively, is also the EC certificate of conformity, the customer when buying a new car by the vehicle manufacturer or get handed dealers information. Here even all permissible tire sizes are listed, while only mentioned in the registration certificate a.
Now the summer is coming - with our detailed tips and technically competent information on the subject of summer tires you and your car are well prepared for the great time of the year.