Winter Tyre Myths: Getting the Facts Straight


There seems to be a number of modern day myths around the subject of winter tyres. These myths are oftten the reason why motorists do not buy or fit winter tyres.

For the most part – as with most myths – there was once some truth to them. Decades ago, when there was a lack of research and technology, it was perhaps true winter tyres were not always a logical, value for money choice.

Today, however, the modern winter tyre is a force to be reckoned with. Thanks to years of hard work from many experts within the tyre industry, they are not only a sound investment during the winter months, but are also capable of offering motorists a stable and safe drive in conditions other than snow, slush, ice and frost.

This page has been set up to fight the corner of the winter tyre. To dispel the myths that still hang around and cast doubt into the minds of car owners.

Winter Tyre Myth 1: “The temperature can get quite low, but it only snows occasionally where I live. My normal tyres are fine.”

Incorrect - Although other ‘non-winter’ tyres can work well in mild winter conditions, the winter variety continue to work at an optimum level below the 7°C. This is the case for all conditions – wet, dry, snow/ice/slush, etc. Thanks to the special rubber compound that a winter tyre is made up of, it does not harden in cold conditions. This means that the tread flexibility remains supple and continues gripping just as well as before.

Winter Tyre Myth 2: “The distance it takes to brake is no different compared to the tyres I already have on my car.”

Incorrect – When compared with the stopping distance of a summer or all-season tyre, the braking distance of a winter tyre (dependent of the on speed of the car and the condition of the road) is up to 10% shorter. To put that into context, that’s around two vehicle lengths. So the use of winter tyres in winter can be the difference between crashing or not.

Winter Tyre Myth 3: “The temperature outside does not affect the level of air pressure in my tyres.”

Incorrect – Ok, this might not be a complete winter tyre myth, but it is something that needs to be addressed. As we all know, having your tyres inflated to the correct pressure is critical to getting the most out of them. For every 5°C that the weather drops a tyre will lose about 1 psi of air pressure.

That makes it very important to keep an eye on the air pressure of your tyres during winter.

Winter Tyre Myth 4: “Winter tyres are far more expensive.”

Incorrect – This is just not true. The cost of a winter tyre is the same if not less than their summer or all-season equivalents.

Winter Tyre Myth 5: “Thanks to modern day cars that have TCS (traction control systems), or ABS (antilock braking systems) winter tyres are no longer needed.”

Incorrect – Although these clever and advanced systems are designed to improve a cars safety – especially in terms of braking – when driving in the spring, summer and autumn, they should not be relied upon to do the same in extreme winter conditions.

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