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Garage Studio

The Horrors of Using Summer Tires in the Winter

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Do you like scary stories? I mean truly scary ones that make your skin crawl and make you wish you never heard them? Well, I have one for you.

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Imagine this. You’re driving home at night, but all the main roads are closed – forcing you to take the dark, winding route. It’s just you, and there has been no phone service for miles. It’s the middle of the winter – which would normally be fine…then you remember: you still haven’t switched to winter tires – your old summer ones would hopefully hold up.

Beginning to get dizzy from the winding roads, you notice a patch of black ice ahead. It’s too late. Before you know it, you are spinning around like a top in the middle of the road.

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In this Tire Review Continental Tire Garage Studio video, we discuss the horrors of driving on summer tires in the winter and why it’s important to help your UHP summer tire customers update their tires with the seasons.

The seasons are changing and your customers may be wondering if they can get away with driving on their summer tires. The easy answer is no. Using summer tires in winter conditions could be dangerous for the driver and risks damaging their tires as well. Winter is the time to fit your customers’ vehicles with winter or at least all-season tires or all-weather tires.

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Summer tires are great for efficiency and handling while also reducing noise levels because of their lower rolling resistance compared to winter tires. The tread on these performance tires, however, performs poorly on ice and snow. Low rolling resistance also can cause a problem when trying to break quickly in the snow or ice. Winter tires have a deep tread that digs into snow and grips ice, delivering shorter braking times.

Rubber compounds on summer tires will also stiffen when temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so even if there is no snow or ice, the tire will still lose traction. Winter weather may also cause your tires to lose their elasticity, making them crack.

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If your customers don’t want to buy winter tires because they want to get more use out of their lifecycle than just one season, recommend an all-season tire or an all-weather tire, depending on the environment in which you live. These tires are a good choice for your customers that live in mild winter conditions. All-season tires offer suitable handling and have good braking performance on dry and wet surfaces. All-weather tires are great for drivers who rely on their tires to perform well in any weather condition and usually carry a three-peak mountain snowflake certification.

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