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Can you use winter tyres in summer?

12th August 2019

Once you've swapped your summer tyres for winter tyres, it feels like before we know it, the summer months are upon us once more - and it's time to change your tyres again. So, to make life a bit easier, can you use winter tyres in summer? Find out the reasons why using winter tyres in summer is not recommended by manufacturers.

Are winter tyres safe in summer?

As winter tyres are designed specifically for cold conditions - such as handling ice, snow, and winter precipitation - it's not recommended to use winter tyres in the summer season. As the temperatures increase, the deep tread depths that winter tyres have to handle snow or keep control in ice are not required. Here are some of the reasons why using winter tyres in the summer is not recommended:

  • Performance - your overall vehicle performance can be compromised by having the wrong tyres fitted for the wrong season. Using winter tyres in summer conditions can have a negative effect on the control of your vehicle - the handling that's required for dry surfaces in the summer months is not achievable with winter tyres. So, using winter tyres in the summer means you can expect a decrease in control and general a reduction in performance.
  • Tyre wear - as winter tyres generally have a more flexible tread rubber than summer tyres, you are likely to experience faster wear in the summer conditions e.g. the warm, dry surfaces. This tread rubber will inevitably wear down more quickly in summer conditions - meaning you're likely to have to fork out for a replacement tyre sooner than anticipated. Whereas, by changing your winter tyres to summer tyres, summer tyres are designed to withstand the warmer temperatures and provide a long wear life.

Can you use winter tyres all year round?

As mentioned above, using winter tyres during the summer is likely to have negative effects on not only your tyre wear, but your vehicle performance in general. However, using winter tyres in spring and autumn months - dependent on the weather - should not have as many detrimental effects. However, it's important to note that as climate change and bipolar weather is upon us, there could be a spike of warm weather in the middle of April, for example - so if this is anticipated beforehand, it may be worth changing over your winter tyres to summer tyres from this point onwards.

Tyres are often designed with specific seasons in mind - and it's important to understand this when it comes to the safety of your vehicle, and the life expectancy of your tyres. Looking for your own winter or summer tyres to buy online? Browse our full selection from trusted manufacturers today from Merityre Specialists.