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How are the best summer tyres made so you can drive on the hot summer road

The seasonal tyres are the thing that many people try to avoid because it is, on one hand, costly, on the other, it takes time and hassle to change them every 6 or so months. That is why many people would prefer to go with the all-season tyres option but while they are good for every season they have a lot of compromises in them so they can be driven everywhere. That is why still the best option out there is to get summer tyres for the summer time and snow tyres for the winter time.

Taking a close look at the summer tyres you can see their treads. They are not very deep actually they are very shallow which can make you think they are old and used. That is not true, though. They are like that because the summer tyres are made to have a good grip on the summer road. Vice versa the winter tyres have bigger treads design because it allows them to go through the snow and push it away.

Summer tyres are a bit harder designed than the winter pack because when the time gets hot they soften up especially while driven on the heated road. On the top of that, the summer tyres are designed with bigger contact with the surface which makes the ride smoother as well less noisy than the winter tyres.

Summer tyres can usually be a bit more expensive than winter or all-season tyres but the reason is they are good for wet roads and are made perfectly for drivers that seek performance. While you cannot take rough corners so well with the winter tyres, the summer ones are made to help you drive better and perform better on the roads and highways.

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Summer Tyres Guides

What makes a summer tyre safe and comfortable? How much profile does a summer tyre need? How do I know how old my tyres are? How can I distinguish between the different manufacturers? Our large summer tyre guide gives answers to all these questions - and many more. Catch up on summer tyres!

Summer is just around the corner - high time for a change of tyres! But is it really necessary to bring up new tires in summer? Are winter tyres really bad? Many people think that summer doesn’t make harsh demands on the tyres like winter does but the heat of summer can cause a number of safety problems, from aquaplaning to poor stability and handling in corners.

So a summer tyre should provide the following benefits:

  • Resistance to high temperatures
  • Shorter braking distances in dry or wet conditions such as rain
  • Good aquaplaning resistance
  • Stability and improved handling for cornering
  • A smooth ride

The materials used to make the tyres are what provide the benefits of safety and stability providing grip and resistance to aquaplaning. Before renewable raw materials came into play in the manufacturing of tyres they were made to a large extent from rubber and oil. Depending on the rubber compound selected, the tyre stays flexible at low temperatures or withstands warm summer temperatures well.

How do the tyre characteristics change when the weather gets warmer? If the rubber compound is for winter, when the temperature rises the tire becomes very soft and changes the rolling resistance causing more fuel consumption. When you put summer tyres on you will get better performance and lower fuel consumption and emissions.

It makes more sense to store the winter tyres for the summer weather as they will last longer than if they were to be driven during the hot weather.

Much more important than the financial aspect is the question of security. Because the harder material of a summer tire guarantees him a greater stability and a firmer grip, so a better grip.

Another issue of using winter tyres in summer is braking distance, up to 16 meters longer for winter tyres than summer tyres and in a critical situation the shorter stopping distance may possibly save a life.

The profile of a summer tire

Its special profile helps the summer tyres perform safely. And not just in the shorter stopping distance: even when wet a high quality tire should not lose traction. A sudden summer thunderstorm can bring a few liters of water without warning, a good tyre should not let you down in this situation. A good summer tyre will provide for better resistance to aquaplaning.

To circumvent the danger of aquaplaning, the profile of a summer tire is optimized so that the edge will effectively disperse water away from the tyre.

The profile for summer tire is specially designed for driving on wet and dry surfaces. The rubber compound also keeps the tyre from becoming too soft in higher temperatures. 

What is the minimum tread depth for summer tires?

A summer tyre is required to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6 millimeter, according to road traffic regulations. If your tyre does not have that much it must be changed otherwise you could get fine or worse be involved in an accident. 

But how do I know if my tyres have already reached the minimum tread depth? It's simple: Each tire carries a so-called wear indicator. The sign is located high on the side wall and consists of small triangles and the symbol for TWI Tread Wear Indicator. Once there continuous webs can be seen, it is bald and should have a new tyre mounted before you either have an accident or get fined. 

However, experts unanimously advise to not wait with summer tyres until the legal minimum tread depth is reached. After all, the balder it is, the worse the grip is. That is why summer tyres should be replaced at a residual profile of 3 millimeters. How can I know whether the tyres still have enough profile? The TWI does not help here because it only shows the minimum legal tread depth of 1.6 millimeters. However, there are profile gauges that can be borrowed at any gas station, also, in a pinch a simple euro coin will work. Place the coin between the tread: Is the edge of the tread covered, the tyre has enough profile.

Here again is the most important data for tread depth at a glance:

  • Tread depth should be minimum 1.6mm
  • TWI on tire wall
  • Tyre should be replaced at 3.0mm which can be determined with a profile meter or euro coin

The tyre change

But even when there is sufficient profile you may need a tire change. In addition to a worn profile and the change from winter to summer tyres the following reasons may make the old tires unusable:

  • The tyre continually loses air pressure
  • Mixed tyres of any kind is strongly discouraged, the combination of radial and cross-ply is an example of mixing tyres
  • If the tyre is too old

You do not have to go to the tyre shop to switch from winter tyres to summer tyres, if they are mounted on separate wheels; you just need a few simple tools to quickly and easily change the tyres. 

Summer tyres Guides: tyre change

How do I know the tire age? How can the age of a tire be notice at all? A closer look at the tire you will see that on one side of it you will find the DOT number, a long sequence of numbers and letters. The DOT number reveals the expert view of manufacture and date of the tire.

The last four digits are of importance for the tyres age, they tell the calendar week and year that the tyre was manufactured. Thus it can be quite accurately determine how old a tire is.

The two circled numbers at the end of the DOT number stand for calendar week and year of manufacture.

Used and retreaded summer tyres

Used tires are as a rule cheaper than mint condition, but the savings often are at the expense of safety. Summer tires are usually longer in use than winter tires, thus they are exposed to more wear. If you want to try to save by purchasing a used tire for summer use, you should look closely to see if the tyre is in good condition.
Another way to save money when purchasing tyres, is the choice of a retreaded tire. These are prepared from old tires when the tread of the carcass is released and exchanged for a new tread. Even with this method, as shown by independent tests, you are likely to have significant loss of quality.

Summer tyre test

The EU tire label gives a brief overview of the tyres properties; these include information on energy efficiency, wet grip of the tyre, and pass-by noise. It shows the evaluation of the criteria that has been met and how the tyre does in those tests which are carried out by independent bodies.

If you want to definitely have a safe trip advises you to take up one of the test winner summer tires. For the top tire the best mark of 5 stars are awarded in all 21 Test and we can only wish you a good trip.

Which tyre sizes I need for my car?

Before ordering, you have to know which dimensions of the tyre you need.

There are two ways to determine the proper tire dimensions: on the registration papers or the tyre itself. Each tyre carries a tyre designation. On this hand stamp on the sidewall of the tyre letter and number sequence, the dimensions of the tyre can be read. The first three digits are relevant. Enter tyre width in millimeters, profile cross section in percent and rim diameter in inches.

An example: The tire dimension 175/65 R14 often comes in big city-compatible small cars such as the VW Polo, the Ford Fiesta, the Fiat 500 or the Opel Corsa.
Now what are the individual figures? The tyre is 175 millimeters wide, which is revealed the first three numbers. The cross-section profile amounts to 65% - in other words, the height of the edge is 65% of the width of the tread. The rim diameter in our sample tire measures 14 inches. The letter R in front of the customs declaration represents the type of carcass, in this case, the radial type.

In addition to this information for the tyre size designation also provides information about the load capacity and speed index.

If you do not want to read from an old tyre, you can look up the information in the vehicle documents. In the old registration document it can be found at paragraphs 20 to 23, in the new registration certificate, Part I under the number 15. Alternatively, is also the EC certificate of conformity, the customer when buying a new car by the vehicle manufacturer or get handed dealers information. Here even all permissible tire sizes are listed, while only mentioned in the registration certificate a.

Now the summer is coming - with our detailed tips and technically competent information on the subject of summer tires you and your car are well prepared for the great time of the year.


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