The difficulty of driving in extreme weather depends on the type of tires you use. Your winter tires will wear down faster if exposed to consistent heat.
Winter tires will last on average about 30,000 miles depending on the conditions and vehicle type. When winter tires are exposed to summer weather, they will wear about 60% faster than usual. This means you would reduce the total tread life of your winter tires to about 12,000 miles.
In summer, winter tires wear out quickly because of the way the softer rubber compound reacts to the heat and warm pavement. By eliminating exposure, you can ensure you get the maximum life span from your tires. This guide will discuss more about how fast winter tires wear in the summer.
Testing winter tires in the heat can be difficult, but our experts have gathered the research to support these claims. When we drive a winter tire on hot pavement, it loses significant traction and the tread wears down much faster. You should take every precaution in order to make your winter tires last for longer.
How Fast Do Winter Tires Wear In Summer?
Winter tires are very important for everyday use. They perform well on wet roads with ice and snow and should be used during the cold. However, the tread life and performance of winter tires change dramatically in the summer.
They wear up to 60% faster when driven during the summer months compared to those driven during the winter season. It is recommended that drivers change their winter tires before the spring and summer months. They should only be driven during cold temperatures with minimal heat.
The treadwear on winter tires depends on how many miles you drive per month, how often you drive on snow and ice-covered roads, and how often you mix snow with frozen or dry roads.
If you drive a set of winter tires this year, the softer the tread, the faster they will wear out in warmer temperatures. Like all summer tires out of season, winter tires need a lower tread to be effective and safe.
Rapid wear on warm, dry pavement A rubber tread on winter tires is more flexible than summer tires throughout the season. The same thick treads and flexible rubber bolts that give winter tires traction in the colder months cause them to wear faster at higher temperatures.
Winter tires have a softer tread compound designed for winter use, but in hot summer weather, this compound produces a higher amount of heat, which increases the overall thermal load on the tires.
Do Winter Tires Work Well In Summer?
Winter tires are for cold and slippery roads. The rubber is softer, so they are flexible enough to handle the bumps of winter. Because of the flexible compound though, they cannot handle the high temperatures that occur in the summer months.
Conventional wisdom is that you should store your winter tires away for the year when the weather reaches temperatures above 45 ° C. However, temperatures in your area change quickly, so it is best to wait until the temperature change remains consistent rather than sporadic changes.
Dry roads and cold weather make the rubber compounds in summer tires harder and they lose grip, which means that they do not work as well.
Leaving winter tires on the ground until temperatures get warmer increases the wear on the compounds, allowing them to remain flexible in freezing temperatures but wear out on warmer roads.
If your vehicle is driving with summer tires out of season and you live in an area where cold temperatures and snow are common, you may have heard sales calls to buy winter tires that work better under these conditions.
Drivers may think it is time to buy a new tire when a tire is flat, but they may not know what type of tire their vehicle is on, whether it is the right fit, or whether it is a seasonal tire that is harder than winter tires, or a summer tire designed for more aggressive driving.
Can You Drive Winter Tires All Year?
One of the key distinguishing features between the season and the weather is the inclusion of the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) symbol which indicates that the tire is certified for winter use.
This means that in areas with winter weather all-weather tires are a good choice all year round, but not in places where it is extremely hot in summer and extremely cold in winter - there is no substitute for fitting suitable tires for these conditions.
If you experience different seasons where you live, winter tires are not an all-year tire that you can use. This is because once the temperature gets too warm your winter tires will start to suffer the consequences.
Winter tires, also called snow tires, offer better traction on snow and ice than summer tires due to the colder temperatures of the season. Winter tires are ideal for a deeper tread depth and special tread designs for snow.
Summer tires are made of a more firm rubber compound mounted on a larger tread block to maximize contact with the road in warmer weather. This firm rubber is unable to get flexible enough for the cold, presenting a similar problem that a winter tire faces in the heat.
It is best to avoid using winter tires all year. They work best in spurts of 3-4 months during cold weather. This will also allow your winter tires to last for at least three total winter seasons too.
Why Do Winter Tires Wear Faster In Summer?
Winter tires wear faster in summer because of the differences in insulators and rubber compounds. The difference is why summer tires use a firmer rubber compound that cannot become flexible enough during the cold.
The opposite is true for winter tires. The rubber used in the winter tire construction is extremely soft and designed to become softer as the temperature decreases. This allows for more adjustments on the road and for the grip of your tire to stay reliable on ice and snow.
The temperature increase leads to a loss of traction and makes it easier for the tires to lose grip on the road surface. The warm weather reduces adhesion between rubber and road surface which can lead to tire wear-outs quickly.
Another issue with winter tires in the summer is the pressure levels. The hot air will cause your tire pressure to expand and this can lead to tire blowouts due to overinflation. Winter tires are typically overinflated to handle the cold but this cannot work the same in the summer.
The best way to avoid wearing out your winter tire too quickly is by avoiding summer temperature at all costs.
2 Risks Of Driving Winter Tires In Summer
When the temperature is high, winter tires lose their grip and cannot handle the conditions. This can be a serious issue for winter tires as they will wear down quickly and become a safety hazard on the road.
1. Faster Tire Wear
In the summer, winter tires will wear much faster. This is because the heat produced by sunlight is higher in summer than in winter, so the tire rubber cannot adjust to the condition changes.
The type of vehicle you drive will also determine how fast this tire wear occurs and it can be even faster on bigger trucks that carry heavier loads. The more weight placed on the soft rubber will only lead to a bigger chance the treads start to crack and wear out.
2. Decreased Traction and Performance
Winter tires have reduced traction and performance in the summer. It is smart to opt for a different tire choice once temperatures start to warm up because you will notice weakened performance from your vehicle.
The decreased performance will be seen in braking distance, cornering ability, vehicle handling, and overall tire traction. It can become unsafe to use a winter tire for too long in the summer too.
About THE AUTHOR
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding