Continental advises: seasonal tire changes without problems
In mid-autumn, many car owners decide on a seasonal tire change. In this regard, Continental specialists decided to give some advice that will help in the selection and operation of winter tires.
Determine suitable conditions for replacing wheels
When changing tires, a thermometer will tell you. The optimal time for replacing summer tires with winter ones is the average daily temperature of about +7 degrees. In such conditions, the summer rubber compound works almost at the limit of its grip. There is a likelihood of night frosts and sleet, as well as a sharp cold snap with snow. Therefore, it is better to change shoes beforehand, than risk losing control of the car
Choose tires for climatic conditions
There are tires for both harsh conditions and mild winters. Wheels from the first category, the so-called ‘Arctic’, are in greatest demand throughout Russia. They differ, first of all, with a rubber mixture with a wide temperature range, which is able to maintain tenacity and elasticity in severe frost. All studded models belong to the same category..
Tires for a mild winter are made from a rubber compound with a lower temperature range, this rubber is noticeably tougher than the ‘arctic’ mixture. But such a dense rubber abrasion less on clean asphalt, and also provides better dynamics and handling. Therefore, sports winter tires with a high speed index are usually designed specifically for mild winters..
Defined between studded tires and studless tires
Non-studded tires, which are also friction or Velcro, are usually in demand in regions where wet or dry asphalt predominates in winter. Often, they are chosen by residents of large cities, in which roads are regularly cleaned of snow and ice. This rubber is better than studded behavior on a dry hard surface, as well as in the thaw. It does not destroy the road surface and therefore does not fall under the prohibitions of European countries, which is important for road travelers. And at temperatures below -30 degrees, it can argue in efficiency with studded models, since in such conditions the spikes hardly pierce the ice.
On roads where hard rolled snow or ice predominates, there is practically no alternative to studded tires – this is the most optimal and safest option. Modern studded models have become more careful with asphalt than their recent predecessors. Therefore, even if you spend most of the time in a city with clean roads, but regularly leave the city, spikes will also be preferable.
We look at the tread pattern
Despite the external diversity of the tread pattern: symmetric or asymmetric, directional or non-directional, various shapes of blocks and lamellas – it is sure to contain elements typical of winter tires. This is a special kind of edge that gives good adhesion to snow and ice, a developed negative profile – a system of channels and grooves, which provides water drainage from the contact spot, interpenetrating elements of the lamella walls and jumpers between the blocks, which make the tread more rigid. However, the tread pattern alone does not guarantee reliable winter behavior. It works with rubber compound and spikes (if any). All these bus elements act as synergists. Therefore, the type of tread alone cannot be a selection criterion..
Making sure the studs are reliable
A significant problem for car owners was the loss of studs during tire operation. The latest Continental technology used in the IceContact 2 model includes a stud coated with a special adhesive compound that, when cured, like a glue, tightly fixes the stud in the seat and prevents its loss even under extreme dynamic loads.
Measuring safe tread depth
If you install winter tires that you have already used in past seasons, make sure that they have a tread depth of at least 4 mm – this is the minimum at which rubber will still work efficiently on a winter road. The limit of 1.6 mm specified in the Technical Regulations is in fact unsafe. Such a tire cannot cope with aquaplaning during thaws and slush, and will not be able to work effectively in deep snow. Her braking properties are also very limited..
Keep summer tires right
Your preferred option would be to contact a specialized seasonal wheel storage company. If you store tires yourself, then you should not place them in a cold and unheated room, summer tires feel best at a temperature of + 10-25 degrees. Tires without wheels are stored in an upright position, approximately every two months they need to be turned a little to avoid deformation. Do not stack them or suspend them. But for wheels assembled on disks, the recommendations are the opposite – they must be stored in a stack or suspended by a disk, and the pressure should be reduced by half. Special tire conditioners will help protect the rubber from cracking and drying out. At the same time, avoid aggressive liquids: solvents, oils, fuels.
More information can be found here.
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