Winter Car Tyres – What Are They? Do I Need Them?


Winter Car Tyres – What Are They? Do I Need Them?

In Australia, we are lucky enough to experience a warm and dry climate for most of the year, and besides the beautiful alpine regions dotted throughout Victoria and New South Wales, we are spared the freezing, below zero conditions that engulf other parts of the world. For driving on most Australian roads, high-quality all-season car tyres are all you’ll need, all year round. However, if you frequent the snowfields or regularly drive through icy areas, you may need to consider switching to winter car tyres for the colder months.

What Are Winter Tyres?

Also known as snow tyres, winter car tyres are designed to provide better traction and handling in cold weather conditions, such as snow, ice, and slush. Featuring deeper grooves and more pronounced treads, they are made from a specific rubber compound that stays flexible at low temperatures, improving their ability to grip the road in cold and wet conditions. This can help to reduce the risk of accidents and make driving a whole lot safer.

  • Snow tyres provide optimal handling and offer the best grip possible in freezing, snowy conditions.
  • On icy roads they improve your car’s braking ability, significantly improving safety.
  • They remain flexible in snowy conditions and won’t get dangerously rigid.
  • The extra grip strength of snow tyres will make it to navigate inclines and declines in mountainous areas.

When to Fit Winter Car Tyres?

If you regularly drive in temperatures under seven degrees Celsius or in snowy conditions, you may want to consider a set of winter tyres. At temperatures below seven degrees Celsius and in wet conditions, the gripping ability of your tyres dramatically decreases, making braking harder and increasing the likelihood of slipping and sliding. In many countries, it is a legal requirement to have these tyres fitted for the winter months, but in Australia, you will typically only need winter tyres if you live, work, or frequently drive through snowy regions.

I’m Going to the Snow One Time, Do I Need Winter Tyres?

If you are simply heading to the snow for a quick holiday, you don’t need winter tyres, but you will have to carry tyre chains. These chains are a great way to increase traction on standard road tyres in snowy conditions, they simply fit around the drive tyres of your vehicle. You can buy your own set or rent them from a town nearby to the snowfields. They are relatively easy to fit to your tyres and will make driving on snowy roads much safer.

Can I Use Winter Tyres All Year Round?

Winter tyres are designed to only be used in cold conditions, as the rubber compounds only work well at low temperatures. Using winter tyres in warmer conditions will impact their performance as the rubber will become too soft and will heat up due to the friction with the tarmac. The sidewalls will begin to lose rigidity, which will significantly impact the handling and safety of your vehicle.

For New Tyres and Tire Repairs, Contact Elite Tyre and Autocare

If you’re heading to the alpine regions in Victoria or New South Wales to work a snow season, or you would like to make sure your tyres in optimal condition before your next trip to Falls Creek or Mount Buller, contact the team at Elite Tyre & Autocare today. We are here to help with all your tyre and automotive needs, and strive to offer affordable, high-quality products and services. Call us today on 9743 9500 or enquire online now.


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