Summer tyres are specifically designed to deliver optimal performance in fair weather conditions and are fitted to the vast majority of UK vehicles
Their compounds and design enable good grip and handling on both dry and wet roads in warmer conditions, whilst guaranteeing the maximum safety performance when temperatures are above 7°C.
They also provide higher levels of longevity and fuel efficiency, helping you to keep your vehicle running costs down and saving you pounds at the pumps.
Benefits of summer tyres?
The key benefits include:
- Responsiveness – quicker and more accurate, especially during hard cornering
- Handling – with their softer rubber compounds, offering superior performance and steering ability
- Comfort – enhanced comfort to maximise your driving experience
- Noise – similarly, they offer lower noise levels, making for a quieter ride
- Economy – help to reduce fuel consumption, saving you money when you fill up your tank
The most sensible option if you are only going to use one set of tyres and live in a part of the UK where the weather is generally less severe during the winter months.
When to fit summer tyres?
Drivers who switch back and forth between summer and winter certified tyres generally make the swap when temperatures fall consistently below 7°C. At this point the compound and rubber in a summer tyre begins to harden, making them less responsive and detracting from their optimum performance.
There is no hard and fast rule about when to switch, but most of our customers tend to swap from mid-October to mid-April, depending on the weather and often their location in the UK.
Driving in the summer
Although summer weather conditions are not as harsh as during the winter months, you cannot afford to be complacent about maintenance and safety.
There are two hazards that can cause you serious problems – high temperatures and rain!
When the mercury soars on hot days, the temperature of tyres increases faster, consequently, the heated air inside the tyres expands and its pressure rises quickly. This will exacerbate any existing damage and weak spots, increasing the risk of punctures and even blowouts at high speeds.
Therefore, before setting off, check the condition and pressures on both your vehicle, as well as anything you might be towing. Click here for more information about how to check your tyre pressures.
Unfortunately, British summers are often blighted by torrential rain and when it comes after prolonged dry spells, it can make the roads treacherous, especially if you don’t have enough tread depth.
The minimum legal tread depth limit in the UK is 1.6mm across the central three quarters and around the entire circumference. These grooves and sipes (thin slits across the surface of the tread) help to evacuate the water from the contact patch between your tyre and the road surface. During wet conditions, they typically clear enough water from the road to fill a bucket in around 7 seconds with good tread depth.
If you do not have adequate tread depth this will hamper your ability to brake, accelerate and corner properly, but the biggest threat comes from the risk of aquaplaning.
Aquaplaning is a very common during the summer months. It occurs when water builds up and effectively lifts the car off the road. This loss of traction causes the wheels to slip and prevents the vehicle from responding to steering, braking or accelerating and as a result your vehicle can career out of control, start to skid or spin.
As the tread depth wears down, its ability to remove water from the road decreases meaning that grip levels are reduced and stopping distances are extended.
To reduce your chances of aquaplaning, simply check your tread depths on a regular basis and replace when they are becoming worn.
If you are unsure what your current tread depth is, just take a 20p coin and place it into the main grooves of your tyre. If you can see the outer band of the 20p when placed in the tyre, this means they are at a dangerous level and may be illegal.
With all this in mind, it is also worth point out however, that most motoring and safety groups recommend replacing when tread wears below 3mm to maintain optimum grip.
How to store summer tyres?
If you are planning to fit winter tyres to your car between October and April, you may be wondering what to do with your summer set.
More and more of our customers are opting to swap back and forth between two sets and one of the major benefits of our mobile fitting service is that we make this process so much easier. We come to your home, which means you can store your spare set in your garage or shed without worrying about how to transport them.
If your do not store them correctly, their physical properties will change and deteriorate, making them unusable. However, if prepared and stored properly they will retain their properties and can remain virtually unchanged for several years.
Tyres should never be stored in the open air, even if covered with a tarpaulin or open shelter. Storage locations and conditions should be cool, dry and dark with adequate ventilation. They should not be stored above normal room temperature and if there is a heat source within the room the tyres must be shielded from it.
All storage facilities should protect them from direct sunlight and constant air changes. Your summer set should not be stored in a room with devices that emit ozone as this can be particularly damaging to the rubber compounds in tyres.
When preparing for storage it is important to remove traces of solvents, fuels, lubricants and chemicals as well as thoroughly checking for signs of damage. During storage do not let come into contact with anything that could damage the rubber including solvents, petrol or anything with sharp edges. If you are concerned about their proximity to harmful substances in a garage, special storage bags are available.
If you store them with rims they can either be hung vertically or piled up horizontally (and restacked every four weeks). The rims should not be stood upright on the ground or floor as they could become distorted. The pressure should also be reduced to 1 bar or 14.5 psi.
Tyres without rims should not be piled or hung. Instead they should be stood vertically on racks, clear of the floor and rotated every four weeks.