Although it may slip many owners’ minds, having the appropriate tires for your BMW is an important part of car ownership and also crucial in ensuring the safety of you, your family, and the drivers around you.
When the weather gets colder, standard tires (also called summer tires) tend to stiffen up, and that’s a sign that it is time to change for winter. When spring hits and the temperature starts to go up, snow tires will begin to wear as they do not handle heat well. Once the roads are snow-free, it is best to switch back over to summer treads.
Summer vs. Winter Tires
A key difference between winter and summer tires is that winter tires are designed with a softness that maintains a better grip on the road. This is especially important in snowy climates like Toronto where the roads can be dangerously slippery.
The tread of a winter tire hugs the pavement and provides good acceleration in snow, while with summer tires, the car is likely to slip all over an icy highway.
In summer, the stiff tread of standard tires holds better grip under the duress of hot temperatures, as the softness of a winter tire wears down quickly on dry concrete.
Another difference between summer and winter tires is that winter tires have a shorter stopping distance in snow, while summer tires are better equipped to stop on dry or rainy roads.
It is very common in winter for a driver to have to begin braking far in advance, and numerous accidents occur because stopping in snow is difficult, so having tires that assist in stopping earlier is crucial.
Summer tires are designed to repel rainwater to avoid hydroplaning, but their stopping distance in snow is not comparable to that of winter tires. Conversely, summer tires tend to stop faster on dry roads or when the pavement is wet with rain.
This is important to note since many drivers believe they can just use their winter tires in the summer, but this is potentially dangerous and makes the winter tires less effective when the cold and snowy weather comes around again.
Temperature toleration, grip, and stopping distance are three ways that summer and winter tires are different. Before changing your BMW’s tires, be sure to check your manual about weight specifications and other details to ensure you get the safest tires for your BMW.