Safety when driving depends on the condition of the winter or summer tires. If a tire change is necessary due to the time of year, previously used winter or summer tires should be checked for defects. It’s not just a worn profile that makes tire replacement a must.
What is important when buying summer tires
Below you will find what you need to consider when “buying summer tires”.
What is the difference between winter and summer tires?
Summer and winter tires not only have a different appearance, but also have a different rubber compound. In the cold winter months, tires need good grip on ice and snow. Thus, the tread grooves on winter tires are much wider than on summer tires. Snow is trapped in wide grooves, which increases its grip while driving, because the grip of snow-filled grooves on a snowy surface is especially good. In case of heavy rain, the wide grooves reduce the risk of aquaplaning.
Winter tires also have a softer rubber compound than summer tires. This is to prevent tires from hardening due to low temperatures. So anyone who drives winter tires in summer should expect increased wear. Due to the soft rubber compound, the profile wears out faster on hot days. In addition, there is an increase in fuel consumption. The tougher rubber compound for summer tires hardens more at lower temperatures, so the car starts to slip much faster.
What tread depth in millimeters do summer tires have?
Worn tires are unsafe and can easily lead to an accident. For this reason, the legislator sets a minimum profit depth, which must not be undermined. Tires must have a profile of at least 1.6 mm. If this minimum is not reached, a fine of 120 euros must be paid. There is another point. The new tires have a tread depth of 8 to 9 mm. Tread depth should be measured in different areas of the tread because tires sometimes wear unevenly. In order for the ride to be truly safe, the tread depth should be at least 1.6 mm in all areas. A simple dipstick can be used to measure the depth of the tread. Alternatively, if you do not have a dipstick, the tread depth can be measured in 1 euro coin. The outside gold rim of the coin is 3mm wide. If the coin is inserted into the groove of a profile and the gold edge is not visible, then the profile is at least 3 mm deep.
When should I replace winter tires with summer tires?
Legislation in many countries states when summer and winter tires must be changed. Each driver must adhere to this data. However, it is important that the tires are always driven in a manner appropriate to the weather. In some years, snowfall lasted from April to the beginning of May. So every responsible driver should always look at the weather forecast before changing tyres. Not only snow can delay a tire change, but also frost. Nighttime temperatures should not fall below 7°C when changing tyres. Frost can be very dangerous. Especially when the fog freezes and the tire rubber alloy hardens even more due to the cold. As a result, the car skids more quickly when braking hard or when cornering and is no longer as easy to control as, for example. With winter tires.
What is the maximum number of years that summer tires can be used?
As a rule, cars are driven so much that the age of the tires does not matter because the tread depth is already very shallow. However, there are exceptions. If a trailer with special approval for a maximum speed of 100 km / h is rarely driven, then the profile will not wear out. In this case, Section 3 of the Ninth Exception Regulation applies to StVO. This states that tires must be no more than 6 years old. The legislator does not set an upper age limit for other vehicles and the types of tire use. It is therefore important to always take a close look at the condition of all tires when changing tires. It’s not just about tread depth. Bumps, dents, or abrasions can cause a tire to burst.
In this case, the tire must be replaced, even if it is not very old and the tread depth is correct. Tires must always be of the same type for each axle. In the event that a tire replacement is required, the tires on the axle must always be replaced at the same time. Before getting rid of both tires (even the undamaged one), take a look at the spare tire. The spare wheel is often neglected and rarely checked. You can swap out the spare tire for a good second axle tire if it is in better condition than the spare tire. Don’t forget to look at the manufacture history of both tires.