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Tips for Driving in Hot and Cold Climates

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Tips for Driving in Hot and Cold Climates

Drivers in the areas of the hot region aren’t the only ones who need to know about tyre safety in the cold. With recent record-breaking cold snaps, people in warmer climates also need to know how to deal with freezing weather.

Summer tyres were designed to deliver enhanced handling in warm environments.  When the temperatures drop, the rubber compounds in summer tyre naturally become more rigid, resembling plastic more than rubber. This change is called “glass transition,” and it occurs when the ambient temperature dips to 45° Celsius or below.

The same tyres that cornered well in moderate temperatures now may slide across the road surface. If you’re an aggressive driver or like pushing the speed limit, this problem will become more pronounced and can easily lead to a skid or spin-out.

While glass transition isn’t permanent, it’s not without long-term effects.  A tyre’s performance will return to normal once the tyre is brought back to a safe ambient temperature, even though a single instance can cause a crack the tyre’s tread. The cracks may seem minor, but they can quickly evolve into more significant  structural issues that can lead to failure.

Keep in mind that the rubber of a tyre doesn’t have to be in use for it to become damaged. Carefully inspect them before reinstallation when the seasons change. If cracking does occur, vehicle and tyre manufacturers alike recommend replacing the tyre.