Cracking is a common misconception that many people have about summer tires.
Some people think that rubber or neoprene in summer tires can crack from cold temperatures or normal wear and tear. Others believe that summer tires might crack due to temperature changes.
But does rubber in summer tires crack with exposure to cold temperatures? Will summer tires crack in winter?
Well, using summer tires in winter can be a risky decision for many reasons. If the tire pressure is not consistent, you might get cracks in your tire rubber when you go through vigorous turns or hills. You can also damage your car’s rims with cracks in your tires.
This article will look at the science behind summer tires cracking and if they crack in winter.
Will Summer Tires Crack in Winter?
Yes, summer tires can crack in winter due to the low temperatures. The rubber compounds in summer tires are not made to withstand cold temperatures, making them stiff and brittle, which can cause cracking.
Additionally, summer tires are not designed for snowy and icy conditions, so they may not provide adequate traction on winter roads. Using winter tires in cold temperatures is recommended for safety and optimal performance.
It is also important to note that using summer tires in winter can also decrease the overall lifespan of the tires. Cold temperatures can cause the rubber to wear down more quickly and make the tires less durable.
Additionally, the lack of appropriate tread patterns on summer tires can cause them to wear down faster in snowy and icy conditions.
To ensure safety and optimal performance, it is best to switch to winter tires when the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius and to summer tires when the temperature rises above 7 degrees Celsius.
Do All-Season Tires Crack in Winter?
All-season tires are designed to provide adequate performance in various weather conditions, including winter.
However, all-season tires are not as well-suited for cold temperatures as winter tires. The rubber compounds used in all-season tires may become stiff and brittle in frigid temperatures, which can cause cracking.
The tread patterns on all-season tires are not optimized for heavy snow and ice, so they may not provide as much traction in winter conditions as winter tires.
So, all-season tires can handle cold temperatures to an extent, but they may not be as effective as winter tires in extremely cold temperatures.
At What Temperature Do Summer Tires Crack?
The ideal temperature range for summer tires is generally 40- 45 degrees Celsius. Below 40 degrees Celsius, summer tires become much less effective on snowy, icy, and wet roads. Summer tires may not provide adequate traction on ice or snow, even with optimal pressure.
To keep the temperature consistent, it is essential to drive at steady speeds with consistent breaks and no dips in speed. Summer tires can crack in cold temperatures if the temperature drops below this range.
It’s always recommended to check the manufacturer’s recommendation for the specific tire you are using, as they may have a different temperature threshold.
How Long Do Tires Last Before Cracking?
Most tires last between 5-7 years, depending on how often they are used, how heavy, and how well they are maintained.
Tires can crack due to several different factors, including:
- Excessive heat and cold exposure
- Tire pressure that is too high or too low
- Unbalanced tires (due to cracks)
- Extreme tire wear due to underinflation, hitting curbs, etc.
The most important thing you can do to extend your tires’ life is to maintain them properly. This includes checking the air pressure regularly and rotating them every 6,000 miles. It is also essential to avoid excessive heat and cold exposure.
Using summer tires in winter can cause tire cracking because of the temperature difference. Even though summer tires may provide adequate performance in mild conditions, they have limited traction on snowy and icy roads, which makes them dangerous in severe conditions.
Additionally, you can damage your car’s rims if your tires crack during maneuvering or braking in icy conditions.
It’s essential to regularly check the tires for any signs of cracking or other damage and replace them when worn or damaged. It is recommended to have a tire rotation every 6,000 miles or six months, a wheel alignment every 12,000 miles or 12 months and have the tire pressure checked monthly.
Summer tires are not as durable or practical in winter conditions as winter tires. Because of the low temperatures, summer tires tend to become stiff and brittle, which can cause cracking.
Using summer tires in winter can reduce their lifespan because of the cold temperatures and expose them to excessive heat and cold.
All-season tires are not as well-suited for freezing temperatures as winter tires and may provide less traction because of their poor tread patterns. It’s essential to regularly check tires for damage and replace them when necessary to extend their lifespan.
It is also recommended to use winter tires in cold temperatures to ensure safety and optimal performance and to avoid using summer tires in winter to prevent cracking.
I am passionate about all things automotive and have a deep understanding of the topic. As a mechanic, I use my free time to share knowledge of everyday challenges that any car owner can experience – helping you make informed decisions about tires.