Make sure that your summer tyres have sufficient tread depth

When you switch to summer tyres from winter tyres you have to make sure that you don’t mount tyres that have a low tread depth. Tyres will need to have a tread depth of 4 mm to have the intended performance and safety. If you go below this level you will lose a lot of key properties that will lower your safety as you will have less grip, the braking distance will be prolonged and the properties when driving in wet conditions will be much worse.

When you drive in wet conditions you need to have good wet grip and you want to make sure that you have good prevention of aquaplaning. Aquaplaning happens when there becomes a water layer between the tyres and the road surface. The tyre will plane on this water layer and you will lose control over the vehicle as you can’t control it with your steering wheel and it won’t respond to increased speed or braking. When the speed is reduced the tyre will regain its ability to press the water to the sides. The more tread depth you have the better ability the tyres will have to store water and to channel it away to the sides.

Good summer and all-season tyres will have introduced innovations and different techniques to improve the flow and the ability to channel the water quickly and to also store the water to avoid the aquaplaning. This does though require that you invest in good tyres and purchase premium ones. You also need to maintain the tyres, so that they will last longer and that the tread won’t wear out in advance. Low tyre pressure will lead to excessive tyre wear and the tyres will wear out prematurely. Tyres with high rolling resistance will also wear out faster and cheaper tyres tend to have higher rolling resistance.

The recommended tread depth is 4 mm and that you change all four tyres at the same time to achieve the same grip on all four positions. If you have different grip you will have a vehicle that over- or understeers. To make sure that the tyres wear equally you should rotate the tyres once you wear difference between front and rear tyres is approximately 2-3mm. The rotation should be done more frequently if you have an electric vehicle or a hybrid.

It is always recommended that you let a tyre shop do the rotation and the changing between seasonal tyres as it is like going to the tyre doctor. They can have a look at the tyres and they should also inform you about if there is uneven wear on the tyres or any damages. If you have low tread depth they should also not mount the tyres, at least not before discussing it with you to give you an option to change tyres before the change is done, so you can start the season with new tyres.

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