It’s that time again…prepare to fit Winter Tyres to your vehicle!

Tyre leaving behind a tyre track in the snow

A long-time advocate of fitting winter, or ‘low temperature’, tyres to his own car, motoring journalist Iain Robertson understands the benefits, the primary of which is vastly improved road safety through greater grip, despite a lack of snow and ice.

When in doubt of a suitable conversation topic, talk about the weather! To be fair, it is not just a British preoccupation. Living in northern Europe, despite our largely maritime climate, we can be affected by weather events that take place elsewhere in the world, as countless TV programmes have been highlighting in recent times. Whether you accept the arguments of environmentalists, or the doomsayers, we have been experiencing more flooding issues, stronger winds and changing weather conditions.

Yet, unlike the heavy snows and sub-zero temperatures of late-2010, early-2011, we do manage to escape many of the extremes that have afflicted Europe in recent years. However, the fitting of ‘Winter Tyres’ is not dependent on snow falling, or icy roads developing, contrary to popular opinion.

Fashion is to blame for the tyre issues that confront us at this time of the year. Wide, low-profile rubber looks fantastic, whether you drive an alloy wheel-clad Fiat 500, or a Lexus LS450h. Yet, experiencing a loss of traction, or grip, with the summer-compromised tyres fitted to almost every car, can soon make your winter heart skip a beat and, ultimately, end your love affair with your chosen set of wheels.

Personally, I prefer to call ‘Winter Tyres’, low-temperature tyres instead. Once the air temperature drops below a notional 10-degrees ℃, there is an increased risk of ground frost, especially at typical commuting times, that are around 5.00-8.00am and 5.00-8.00pm. Summer tyres are designed to flex their treads to provide maximum grip at warmer temperatures but they solidify as the mercury drops. Low-temperature tyres provide that essential tread-flex below 10-degrees ℃.

It is only when you first experience the vastly improved grip levels provided by ‘Winter Tyres’ on public roads that you appreciate the difference. When you turn the steering wheel, the ‘bite’ at the front-end of the car is marked positively, as it turns the car, rather than losing grip and incurring a slide, while the back end of the car follows the intended direction religiously and that is on typical winter roads. However, with a dramatic reduction in braking distances also noticeable, should a bicycle, or a pedestrian, or animal, step out in front of your ‘Winter-Tyred’ vehicle, you will be able to stop both more safely and securely over a shorter distance. Should it snow, or a heavy frost is visible, the more open tread of the ‘Winter Tyre’ cuts through to where it can achieve grip.

Of course, if you require advice, the skilled technicians at Mr Clutch Autocentres can provide you with it and, as safety and providing the maximum customer satisfaction is of primary interest to them, you can be assured of both unbiased and sound information. They can make brand-related recommendations but you can decide whichever tyres you want, at a price you can afford. Mr Clutch can also fit replacement tyres at most branches, ensure that they are balanced properly and, if your car’s tracking needs to be checked, it can be done at most branches.

There is a cost implication but, as your car’s Summer Tyres are not being used, their life expectancy will be extended and, come springtime, you will find that the ‘Winter Tyres’ should have plenty of tread for at least another three years of usage. I have been using the latest Winter Tyres on my own car for the past two years and they will soon help me to enjoy winter driving again.

To be more certain about the safe conduct of your passengers and you, as well as other road-users, during the winter months, using ‘Winter’, or ‘Low-Temperature Tyres’ should be a primary consideration and Mr Clutch Autocentres can help you to achieve the perfect seasonal balance. You can shop online at www.mrclutch.com/tyres, a great place to make your choice, to find the right tyre at the most competitive price.