Change before you have to.
Should You Change Your Tires between Winter & Summer?
If you live in a region where the weather and temperature changes drastically between winter and summer, then changing tires with the seasons is essential for fuel economy, safety, and for the life of your tire.
How do winter tires benefit drivers?
Winter tires are designed to handle cold temperatures, and to provide good grip in snow, ice, and slush. Because of this, they often have larger tread blocks with extra sipes (additional grooves on the tire tread blocks) to grip the road in the snow and slush, giving better traction.
Cold or freezing weather can cause the rubber of an average highway or touring tire to harden and become less flexible, giving it less grip on the road. However, snow or winter tires are constructed with special rubber compounds that keep the tire’s surface flexible in low temperatures, maintaining your vehicle’s traction and responsiveness to steering and braking. As every driver knows, control over your vehicle is essential for safety in snow, slush, or on icy roads. This is why you should avoid using summer tires in snow and winter temperatures.
Look for a tire with the prestigious 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake rating, which indicates that a tire has undergone rigorous testing, and has been certified to meet the tire industry’s highest standards of performance in cold temperatures and severe snow.
What Are Summer Tires Good For?
A major question on most car owners’ minds is, “Are summer tires worth it?” Here is why driving winter tires during summer isn’t a great idea. In the warmer temperatures of spring and summer, winter tires with their large tread block designs and softer rubber tread aren’t beneficial anymore, and can actually become a setback. Driving a winter tire in the summer causes your tire to wear down more quickly, due to the tire’s rubber compound being softer than a typical Highway or Touring tire. Unfortunately, this could mean that you’d have to replace your winter tires much sooner than you expected, as worn tire treads pose a safety hazard.
The larger tread blocks and softer rubber of winter tires also increase the friction and resistance of the tire’s roll against the road, requiring more energy to move the vehicle. This increases fuel consumption considerably. During the summer season, the cost of fuel is a major consideration in long drives, road trips, and even in daily driving, so continuing to use winter tires throughout the summer could have a big impact on your fuel budget. Look for a quality summer performance tire to avoid spending more on fuel.
What types of tires are best for summer driving?
For summer driving, look for Performance, Touring or Highway tires, which will offer features suited for driving in dryer, warmer weather, or on long trips. Many tires use special long-wear tread compounds that help reduce tread wear, such as Groundspeed’s Voyager HP, an ultra high-performance tire constructed with the V3 silica compound to decrease rolling resistance, improve fuel economy, and still provide excellent handling. A great option for summer long-distance driving is the Voyager GT, which has a wear-resisting shoulder design, and a special long-wear tread compound, to maximize fuel efficiency and the life of the tire! For CUV and SUV drivers looking for a great summer tire, the Voyager SV is a premium Highway tire, designed especially for highway stability and higher speeds, with excellent braking and handling control. The Voyager HT is another premium Highway tire for Light Trucks and SUVs, with features that enhance stability at highway speeds, control, and traction, as well as reduce road noise.
For off-roading or off-road types of terrain, you need well-constructed and reliable tires. The Voyager MT is a Mud-Terrain tire with a puncture resistant sidewall, an exclusive VO-R tread compound for superior performance in off-road conditions, and a quick-draining tire groove design to handle wet and muddy terrain.
And the Voyager AT is an all-round All-Terrain tire that is also proven to perform in severe snow conditions, carrying the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake rating. Its construction and tread is specially designed for grip, control, and stability on a variety of terrain, in wet or dry conditions.
Severe Snow Rated (3-Peak Mountain Snowflake)