While all-season tires can carry most drivers year-round, some prefer to optimize the performance of their vehicle with a separate set of winter and summer tires. Summer tires are made to handle the dry, warm roads of summertime in Chicago, while winter tires are dedicated to powering through the tough midwest winters. If you’re wondering how these tires differ and when to put on your summer tires, check out our guide from the Mercedes-Benz of Chicago tire center!
Summer Tires: Construction & Function
Compare summer tires vs. all-season tires or winter tires, and you’ll see that they offer a unique construction that’s ideal for the hot summer temperatures and wet road conditions. Summer tires have:
- A rubber compound for added grip for dry or wet summer roads
- Streamlined tire tread depths to allow for more of the tire to remain in contact with the road
- Fewer grooves
This construction allows for maximum traction in warm weather. Thanks to this you’ll not only find superior handling and cornering but faster braking and decreased stopping distance.
Winter Tires: Construction & Function
While it can be tempting to use winter tires in summer, they have been fabricated for completely different functions and conditions. Winter tires are built for pushing through snow and are able to withstand extremely low temperatures, thanks to:
- The use of more natural rubber which lets the tire stay flexible during low temperatures (instead of becoming brittle like summer tires would)
- Deeper treads which help them dig into ice and snow so more of the tire can connect with the road
- More grooves to increase ability to channel snow
Winter tires are built to reduce hydroplaning through slush and offer increased traction in snow and ice. This makes driving in the challenging Cook County winters a little less daunting.
Can You Use Winter Tires In Summer?
The short answer is no. The different construction of these tires means winter tires won’t fare well in the summer heat. The natural rubber compound will wear out faster, increasing the need for new tires. What’s more, the deep treads and increased grooves that offer additional grip in the winter will actually lessen your traction in the summer months.
When Should I Change My Tires?
If you plan on switching tires with the seasons, you’ll want to consider making your move around when the temperatures hit 45 degrees. If the temperatures are warming up to be above 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius), it’s time to switch to summer tires. If the temperatures are dropping below 45 degrees, it’s time to switch to winter tires.
Winter & Summer Tires vs. All-Season Tires
All-season tires offer a middle ground tire for drivers who don’t want to replace their tires each season. They offer an in-between level of treads and grooves which allows them to operate in both seasons, as well as a tire material that is able to stiffen up as temperatures decrease. While they can’t provide the specialized performance that comes with having a separate set of winter and summer tires, they’re a better option than trying to drive winter tires in summer or summer tires in winter.
What are the Best Summer Tires?
The best summer tires for your vehicle are the ones recommended by your manufacturer. In the case of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, they would be Mercedes-Benz Original Tires. These tires have been built specifically for Mercedes-Benz vehicles in order to meet various performance demands.
Find Your Summer Tires at Mercedes-Benz of Chicago!
When the temperatures start rising in Chicago, it’s time to put on your summer tires. If you need a replacement set or want help with professional installation, reach out to the team at Mercedes-Benz of Chicago!