Replacing your tyres with summer tyres

Do you have a long commute?  Are you planning to take a road trip?  If so, you need to replace your tyres with summer tyres to ensure your vehicle is fit for the road.  Given the hot weather we are experiencing, having the wrong tyres to support your vehicle could lead to safety issues should one or more of your tyres blow-out while you are driving.

Tyres and hot weather 

As the weather heats up, the tarmac can get very hot.  Indeed, some motorists might remember that part of the M25 had to close last year because the road surface was severely damaged by the hot weather.

For your tyres, the heat from the tarmac presents a problem because it can actually cause the rubber of your tyres to expand.  How your particular set of tyres respond will depend on their quality and their age.  If your tyres are five years old or more, and there are cracks around the sidewalls, then these same cracks are at a serious risk of worsening into a full blown tyre if you travel with them in hot weather.

However, even if your tyres are relatively new and are in good condition, they can still be adversely affected by the heat and wear out quicker as a result.  According to carmaker Renault, an overloaded vehicle, long journeys by motorways, particularly in very hot weather, or continual driving on poorly surfaced minor roads will lead to more rapid tyre wear and affect safety.

Summer tyres

So what can you do to prevent blow-outs and ensure a safer journey?  The answer is to replace your winter tyres with summer versions.  Although winter tyres are also known as all season tyres, this doesn’t mean they handle the roads better than other tyres during summer.

Summer tyres have softer rubber than winter tyres, allowing them to have a better grip on the road.  They also come with a special tread design that allows water to be channelled up and away from the car when driving in wet conditions.  As a result, these tyres have better traction on wet roads.  In short, summer tyres allow better grip and a smoother ride in warm conditions.

Winter tyres also tend to be noisier than summer tyres, although they are becoming quieter on the road as technology improves.

What to look for

You need to take tyre width and grooves into consideration when buying summer tyres.  Wider tyres can lead to skidding or swerving, so if you are going to drive regularly on wet roads, you may want to choose a more narrow set of tyres.

Whatever you do, make sure your tyres are property checked and that they are in good enough condition for the roads.  Remember, your tyres are the only points of contact between your vehicle and the hot tarmac, and they can have a huge impact on your vehicle’s performance as well as its fuel economy.