According to statistics, 27% of cars on domestic roads drive in summer on winter tires. What this is connected with is not always obvious. With the law and fines regarding winter tires in the summer, too, not everything is simple. And there are also many disadvantages of such operation of the machine, which, however, many do not pay attention to. In this article, we will figure out why not everyone changes their shoes according to the season, what the letter of the law says about this, and what real disadvantages car owners on winter wheels face in summer.
Why do people drive with winter tires in the summer?
The answer to this question seems obvious to many. Lack of money. Unfortunately, in our country this is a normal course of events. Cars are often inadequately serviced, because at the right time there is no money for fresh engine oil, new brake pads, engine overhaul, and so on. But in the case of winter tires in the summer, everything is a little more complicated. For some, year-round driving without changing shoes is even justified and, to some extent, beneficial.
To understand this, let's list as many reasons as possible why so many cars drive in summer with winter tires:
- Laziness. There are few of them, and they are more common in spring than in summer. A replacement set of tires is in the garage. But for various reasons, visiting the service station for changing shoes is just too lazy. As a rule, in such cases, to the heat, nevertheless, the rubber changes.
- Wear. There are times when winter tires wear out so much by the end of the season that it makes little sense to leave them for the next winter. So, they “finish it to the wire” in order to save money. We will return to this point, since the norms for the remaining tread of winter and summer tires are different.
- Money. Here you can do without comments. For many domestic motorists, there is nothing strange in the fact that spring has come unexpectedly. Just when there are other problems, and there is no money to solve them.
- There is no time. Some people really have problems with time. And there are those who use this reason as self-justification.
- Invisible difference. Under certain conditions, discussed in detail below, the difference between driving in the summer on winter tires and what it should be is imperceptible. Why, then, the question asks, spend money on another set of rubber. We emphasize that for some, this approach to the operation of the car is fully justified. But more on that later.
- Not prohibited by law. Everyone knows that what is not prohibited by law is allowed. So far, there are no penalties for driving on winter tires in summer. But we will also talk a little more about the law below.
- Auto mode. Again, for various reasons, some car owners do not use the car that often. For a year and 5000 km is not wound. Accordingly, even one set of winter tires is enough for many years.
- Temperature conditions in the region. The closer to the North, the shorter and colder the summer. But there are also regions where the temperature is above +7°C for only “a couple of days”. It is clear that few people will keep one more set of rubber on the farm for their sake.
- The car is up for sale. Many sell the car is not a good life. Yes, our people have problems with their conscience. As a result, the problem of changing the shoes of the car rests on the shoulders of the future owner. But sometimes cars are sold for a very long time. So, they drive in anticipation of a buyer in the summer on winter wheels.
- Two cars - "winter" and "summer". There are those who can afford to have two cars. One for summer and one for winter. For example, it is more convenient for many people to cut through ice and snow on a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive car. Even for the winter, they sometimes buy a car, which, so to speak, is not a pity. And so, when the “summer” car breaks down in the summer, the “winter” version on the corresponding tires is used. Don't change it for a few days.
That's how many all kinds of reasons why so many cars drive winter tires in the summer.
Winter tires in summer and the law
At the time of this writing, winter tires in summer are not prohibited by law. Moreover, a similar situation is observed in other countries. For example, among the same Germans, winter tires are treated loyally in the summer season, and they are not punished. Of course, the statistics in fact there are significantly different from ours. But this thing is.
On the other hand, the issue of banning the operation of a car in the summer on winter wheels has been repeatedly raised. They tried to push the law through several times. At the same time, they were guided by the statistics of accidents, and physical laws, and even the recommendations of eminent manufacturers of automobile tires. However, there is no law. Accordingly, there is no penalty.
If, nevertheless, such a ban officially enters into force, relevant information will appear under this paragraph.
But at the moment there is one interesting law that concerns the remaining tread of winter and summer tires. Many people ignore this moment, for which they quite naturally receive fines. The point is this. If the tires are summer, then you can ride on it as long as the tread height is not lower than 1.6 mm. If (regardless of the season) tires are winter, then they are considered unsuitable for operation with a tread height below 4 mm. Accordingly, if you decide to “finish off” worn winter tires in the summer, keep in mind that they may well be punished for the “summer” tread height.
Riding on winter tires in the summer - all the disadvantages
Here are collected 7 shortcomings that, to one degree or another, manifest themselves when driving in the summer on winter tires. Of course, often some of these disadvantages are slightly exaggerated. However, in fact, there are disadvantages. And so, you need to know about them in detail. Especially those for whom driving in summer on winter tires is a necessary measure.
So, driving on winter tires in the summer is fraught with the following problems:
- Accelerated wear of winter tires.
- Lack of control.
- Extended stopping distance.
- Tire explosion hazard.
- High noise level.
- Increased fuel consumption.
To complete the picture, we will dwell on each point separately.
Winter tire wear in summer
Accelerated wear of winter tires in the hot season is an indisputable fact. Such tires are made of soft grades of rubber so that in frost the wheels do not become oak and do not lose grip on the icy road surface. In summer the air temperature is high. Hot asphalt. The average speed is also much higher than in winter. All this leads to the fact that the tires overheat, from which, in fact, they are destroyed faster than in winter.
On the other hand, if we consider the problem without fanaticism, then wear and tear under certain circumstances does not increase as critically as they say. For example, if tires are initially of high quality, from a well-known manufacturer, expensive, then they will wear out extremely slowly even in conditions not intended for them. When the tires are cheap, then, frankly, they don’t run much in winter.
But that's not all. The rate of tire wear is also dependent on other factors. For example, many people know that any tires wear out at a speed of 80 km/h twice as fast as at 60 km/h. The condition of the road surface also greatly affects this. On a bad road, rubber wears out much faster. And one good hole can send a tire to a flower bed in just a split second.
The result is the following. If your car drives a little, not fast, and mostly on good roads, then you may not notice the wear of winter wheels in summer. Moreover, the rest of the disadvantages discussed below are not so scary for you. If, out of habit or for other reasons, you drive aggressively, quickly, a lot, far away, change your shoes unequivocally. For you, such operation of the car is deadly. For other road users, in fact, too.
Handling on winter wheels in summer
A car with winter tires handles worse in summer because the tires are soft. With an increase in ambient temperature, as well as due to friction on hot asphalt, the situation is aggravated. The car becomes more swathy, wadded. In turns, it behaves less stable and clear. Uncontrolled drifts, dangerous drifts and other problems are possible. These are facts. Undeniable. Proven in practice.
But. All of the above factors only matter when driving at high speeds. With aggressive driving, of course, the hardness of the rubber plays a very important role. If you usually drive slowly, enter turns at an adequate speed, do not accelerate sharply - you may not notice much difference between winter and summer tires in summer. Again, a lot depends on the quality of the tires.
The result is this: the car's handling in the summer on winter wheels is really not at the highest level. However, this is only noticeable at certain speeds. If your driving style is not aggressive, then you will not notice the disadvantage of this. On the other hand, keep in mind that you are not alone on the public road. There are other road users, and no one is immune from the fact that, through someone else's fault, you will have to maneuver sharply, moving away from an accident. Will winter tires let you down in the summer in such a situation? Here's a good question.
Braking distance of winter tires in summer
Despite the fact that this shortcoming is considered one of the last, in terms of severity it should be in the first place. The braking distance for the car and its driver is, without exaggeration, vital. Sometimes even a few unfortunate centimeters can draw a line between life and death as a result of an accident. In general, this stopping distance is a terribly important thing.
But is it really longer on winter tires? When answering this question, you can focus on the following three arguments:
- Experiments. Since the topic is always relevant, such, of course, were held repeatedly. The braking distance was checked by both journalists and bloggers, ordinary motorists for the sake of sports interest. Oddly enough, but the results are different for everyone. For some, a car in the summer on winter tires braked even better than on summer tires. Others have the opposite. Most likely, this is due to the fact that the conditions were different - the condition of the road surface, brand, quality and degree of wear of rubber, driver skills, the presence of auxiliary systems, and so on.
- Personal experience. You can check for yourself how much the braking distance on winter tires in summer is longer than on summer tires. Unless, of course, you have two sets of tires. Believe me, not everyone who wants to do this will have unambiguous results.
- Physics. Take two pieces of rubber - hard and soft. Attach them in turn to the asphalt with the same force, and stretch. Which tire resisted the most? Even without experiment, many people understand that softer rubber will resist more. This is high school physics. So why then should the braking distance on soft winter tires be longer than on hard summer tires? Here's another good question.
Despite all of the above, most of the experiments, nevertheless, show disappointing results with winter wheels in summer. It brakes, basically, worse. Not much. Not always. But worse. Who knows why everything is so ambiguous. Maybe it's the quality of the tires. It is possible that the same conditions were not maintained during the experiments. However, there are still grounds for concern. Therefore, if for one reason or another you drive winter tires in the summer, think that the braking distance will indeed be longer. There is only one way to compensate for this - by reducing the speed of movement.
Tire explosion hazard
This disadvantage is considered one of the undeniable. But, again, only under certain conditions. To make winter tires burst in the summer, you need one of these:
- high speed;
- hot asphalt;
- heavy wear;
- severe tire damage.
If you drive at an adequate speed on winter tires with a normal tread residue, the probability of a wheel explosion will be the same as in the case of summer tires. Wheels on the roads, as a rule, explode not because they are worn out of season. More often the cause is an accidental puncture, excessive wear, damage, high pressure and other factors.
Winter tires are noisier than summer ones. This is due to the fact that they have a more complex and detailed tread pattern. The softness of the material also makes its own adjustments. On the other hand, if only the tires are not studded, then with good sound insulation, the difference in the cabin may not be noticed. But there is a downside. And he is unequivocal.
Riding through puddles with winter tires
It is believed that summer tires are more adapted to driving through puddles and better protected from hydroplaning. Opinion, to put it mildly, controversial. In winter, there is also water on the roads. Accordingly, winter tires must also be designed for its effective removal. Especially since that's the way it is. Except, of course, highly specialized rubber designed for certain conditions. In such a tread pattern is more designed for solving other problems, and hydroplaning is not excluded on them. Ordinary serial tires for civilian vehicles do an excellent job of draining water from under the wheels. The only question is - to what speed.
The higher the fuel consumption, the stronger the rolling resistance. Winter tires become very soft in summer. They also have a more detailed tread pattern. All this leads to the fact that the car rolls down the road worse. And this means that more fuel is needed for its movement. But how much more?
On the Web, you can often see opinions that driving in the summer on winter tires leads to an increase in fuel consumption by as much as 10%. In fact, this is the purest lie. The maximum, by how much fuel consumption can actually increase specifically because of winter tires, is by 2-4%. That is, if your car has a normal consumption of 7 liters per 100 km, then 4% will give an increase of only 280 milliliters. Consumption in the end will be somewhere around 7.3 liters per 100 km. Many? Not so much as to give a damn about it.
The misconception, most likely, is generated by the fact that in winter any car has a markedly increased consumption rate. However, you should not compare driving modes on snowy and slippery roads with driving modes on dry asphalt. Such a large difference between winter and summer consumption is associated with tires very little. Road conditions, air temperature, engine warm-ups and speeds affect this difference much more strongly.
VIDEO: summer vs winter vs all season tires
As you can see, the situation with driving in the summer on winter tires is far from unambiguous. On the one hand, this is wrong. There are many disadvantages, among which life-threatening ones are quite possible. On the other hand, such exploitation is not prohibited by law. This time. And two - for certain categories of car owners, driving in summer on winter tires is very justified. Therefore, it is not worth judging them.