In summer, friction tyres should be replaced with summer tyres

Many think that friction tyres are good summer tyres as well, but this is not true from a safety perspective. Friction tyres are good winter tyres, especially when driving on snowy or slushy roads, but in the summertime it must be remembered that friction tyres have a much weaker wet grip than actual summer tyres.

The difference between friction tyres and summer tyres may not be discernible when driving normally, but their performance in unexpected situations is poor in comparison to summer tyres. The wet grip of friction tyres is not as good as the wet grip of summer tyres. A few years ago, when Tekniikan Maailma magazine tested friction tyres in the same test with summer tyres, friction tyres were given the poorest safety score and they also commented that even a score of 4 (on a scale from 4 to 10) was too low for the safety of friction tyres. Although there are no significant differences in the structure of friction tyres and summer tyres, the most essential factor affecting safety is wet grip, which is much weaker in friction tyres than in summer tyres. The material of friction tyres is designed for winter conditions and the purpose of their rubber surface contacting the road is to be able to stop on a snowy and icy surface, which is, in fact, the opposite specification to wet grip.

It is true that the use of friction tyres makes the changing of tyres more flexible, since it is possible to replace summer tyres in the autumn with friction tyres before studded tyres are allowed. In the spring, temperatures can vary significantly, which means that friction tyres function well. On the whole, however, the difference between friction and summer tyres is most significant in the summertime. You can test this when changing your summer tyres. As you drive to the garage to get your tyres changed, make – when driving on a safe road – various sudden sideways steering movements, first with the friction tyres and then with the summer tyres after changing them. You will easily notice the difference.

  • You should change friction tyres early in the autumn, whereas in the spring you can postpone changing to summer tyres, unlike with studded tyres.
  • Friction tyres are especially good in snow and slush, whereas the wet grip of summer tyres is better.
  • The performance of friction tyres is unpredictable, especially in unusual conditions.

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