Protect your hybrid with proper winter tyres

Hybrid cars are great as they consume less fuel, as they are a combination of petrol-fueled car and an electric car, so you have less CO2 emissions and an environmentally friendlier car. You want to equip it with tyres with low rolling resistance so that you consume even less fuel as well as get further with every electrical charge. You should also check that the tyres are intended for electrical cars, as they are heavier and will need more wear resistant tyres so that they don’t wear out too quickly.

Making sure that the winter tyres are good quality is of course very important so that they will last longer, keep you safer as they will have better properties when it comes to grip and braking distance. These are key properties to keep you out from near incidents or actual accidents. The ability to get your vehicle to stop quickly is essential as well as is the ability to avoid skidding behavior.

Winter weather is challenging enough even with good tyres, so don’t make it harder by selecting sub-optimal tyres. You will need to check different tyre tests done by independent car magazines for objective results. It is important to check the parts that are important for you, as all the different parts of the tests might not be interesting or important for you. So checking the various tests and picking the important parts and summarizing them on your own will probably lead to the best tyre option for you and your vehicle. You can also use the EU tyre label information as an additional source of easy accessible information. The only problem with that information is that there is not anything indicating how well they perform on winter surfaces. However the tyre noise and the fuel consumption measured by rolling resistance will be important even for winter tyres.

The rolling resistance is also dependent on your tyre pressure, so if you have too low tyre pressure the rolling resistance will increase. Increased rolling resistance also leads to increased tyre wear, which is already something that you will need to look out for when it comes to hybrid cars, so try to make sure that you always have the correct tyre pressure and that you rotate the tyres when you have more than a few millimeter difference in tread depth between the rear and the front tyres.

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Winter tyres should be used when you drive in winter conditions

There is no excuse for not using winter tyres or winter approved tyres when driving in winter conditions. Not using winter approved tyres jeopardizes both your own and others’ safety and should be avoided. Winter tyres are extremely important and depending on the country, it might even be mandatory to use them. If they are not they should be just like seat belts and airbags are nowadays mandatory in cars. Even if it is mandatory in some countries the quality isn’t discussed, which should be done, as all tyres are not equal.

When you equip your car with high quality winter tyres, you make sure that the car has the necessary grip and control. You do need to make sure that you choose the right tyre for the area where you live and drive. You basically have three different options depending on where you live. In the North you tend to only have studded and non-studded tyres, in central Europe and part of south, you have non-studded and all-weather tyres and in some cases also studded tyres  are allowed

The all-weather and non-studded tyres are both without studs as compared with the studded tyres that have metal studs protruding from the tread. The metal studs give these tyres better grip and traction on ice. These are superior on ice versus the non-studded options. Non-studded tyres tend to introduce some grip particles in the tread to create the necessary grip on ice. When it comes to snow and slush it is more down to the tread design, where both the studded and the non-studded version are both good if they have a good tread design.

The all-weather tyre is a tyre that can be used throughout the whole year if they are approved for winter conditions, while the non-studded winter tyre is to be used during the winter season. This makes them a dedicated winter tyre that will have better winter properties than the all-weather tyre, which does have capacity to work in winter conditions and are much better than having summer tyres, which isn’t a safe option at all. The all-weather tyres gives you a perfect tyre for area where your winters are not that tough, but you want to be safe while driving when the winter weather actually does arrive.

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Winter tyres add to your driving safety during the winter months

Driving with winter tyres during the winter season is a lifesaver. Winter tyres provide the safety in terms of giving you the ability to stay on the road and avoid accidents. A car is only as safe as its tyres, where if you don’t have top quality tyres, you might be increasing your risk of being in an accident. So it is important that you choose tyres wisely when it comes to winter tyres, as they have to be able to get you through safely when driving in snow, ice and slush.

When you drive without proper tyres during winter conditions you will put yourself in danger as you will not have sufficient grip, so the likelihood of skidding or not having the necessary braking distance to keep yourself out of an accident. You need to have the specific rubber compound that remains soft and agile during the low winter temperatures. You also need the tread design that can handle snow, ice and slush.

If you choose studded tyres, then you will have metal studs to provide extra good grip on ice. For the non-studded tyres, they use innovative design solutions to provide grip on ice. Both tyre options will operate well in harsh winter conditions, as long as you have them on when the winter weather arrives. Select the tyre choice that is most appropriate for the weather conditions that you most often face during the winter. If you have more icy conditions and want to ensure that you have the best possible grip then the studded tyres are your best option. If you more prefer the non-studded tyres and the flexibility it gives, then that is the option for you.

Tyre maintenance is important too, to keep the tyres in good condition. You will need to make sure that they are not worn out; so that they have a tread depth not less than 4 mm and that the wear is even within each tyre. Making sure that the tyres are free from any damages due to curbs or potholes is important to also observe. Then you will need to make sure that the tyre pressure is correct and that you haven’t overloaded your car. Correct tyre pressure also makes your tyres last longer and make sure that the car consumes less fuel.

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Your winter tyre options

Winter tyre options are mostly dependent on where you live and how you use your car. In addition what type of a vehicle you have matters. It is important that if you have winter conditions where you live or where you plan to drive, that you have tyres that are designed for those conditions. It can be very dangerous to drive with tyres that are not designed for winter use. So when you plan to drive in winter conditions, make sure that the tyres are approved for winter conditions. They should have a symbol on the sidewall of the tyre with a 3 Peak Mountain with a Snow Flake symbol inside the mountain. It is often referred to as the 3PMSF symbol. This is the proper winter symbol. The M+S indicating mud and snow is not sufficient for safe driving during winter conditions.

When you select winter tyres, you have basically two different types of dedicated winter tyres, meaning that they are to be used only during the winter season and have to be changed to summer tyres for driving during the other seasons. One is the studded tyre, that has metal studs protruding from the tread to give you good grip on ice and has specially designed tread to provide the best performance on snow and slush. Then you have non-studded tyres, which have similar tread design for snow and ice and have then incorporated features for improving the grip on icy surfaces, so that they can compete with the studs. Both these will be safe options for driving during the winter season. It is important to invest in good quality tyres and to make sure that they are mounted on your vehicle during the whole time that you have winter conditions when you drive.

You have also a third option for areas where the winters are not that prevalent or that harsh, that is the all-weather tyres that if they are winter approved will work fine in winter conditions. They can also be used all year round, so that you are always ready to drive regardless of current or approaching weather. The last thing that you will need to ensure is that you have special tyres for SUVs, electric or hybrid cars, check that they are designed for that purpose.

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Know when to change your tyres to new ones

From the day that you have new tyres on your vehicle it is important to track the tread depth and how it decreases over time. It is good to keep a log of the tread depth. Initially you will not check it as often,  perhaps every 6 months, but once you start to predict they are worn out you should check them more often. It is also important to track differences between the front tyres and the rear tyres. If there is a big difference in the wear between rear and front tyres, you should rotate the tyres, so that the difference can be eliminated. This is what is referred to as tyre rotation. If you use two sets of tyres during the year by using summer tyres and winter tyres, then it is natural to do the rotation at the instance that you change them.

If you use the same tyres the whole year, then you will need to manage the rotation by tracking the wear through the tread depth and change when the difference is between 2-3 mm. If you have a hybrid or an electrical car, the tyre wear is higher due to the higher torque. This means that it might not be enough to rotate every 6-month, especially if you drive a lot. So it is even more important that you monitor the wear. Special tyres should be used for these vehicles that have a higher wear resistance.

There are other factors that can impact the wear of the tyres; one is the tyre pressure where a low tyre pressure increases the rolling resistance, which increases the tyre wear. It also causes the vehicle to consume more fuel when you drive. So this is important to check when you stop at a petrol station for fuel. Cheap tyres will also wear faster also due to their higher rolling resistance. This means that cheap tyres will wear out faster and will cause your vehicle to consume more fuel.  This is not a good equation and will end up costing you more money at the same time as you are driving with tyres that are less safe. So make sure that you invest in high quality premium tyres.

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Tyres are providing you with both safety and performance

Most people don’t think much of tyres except something that can get flat and that you have to change now and then. If you follow motorsports, you are probably more educated on the importance of the tyres, as many motor races are determined by the tyre selection and strategy. Formula 1 is probably the most extreme, where they choose between soft and hard tyres and optimize the grip and handling versus wear rate to try to win the races. Regardless what vehicle you have, if you don’t match it with proper tyres that can weaken and even ruinthe vehicles performance.

This is why in a similar way as in motorsports; you have to think and choose righttyres to ensure that you get the most out of your vehicle. For areas with varying weather conditions, you will most likely have to choose more than one tyre set for your vehicle. It is not practical to have more than two sets of tyres to cover the year, but if you could change tyres quicker and easier, you might have ended up having more versatile options. It is a bit in the same way that we have different shoes depending on what we plan to do. Tennis shoes, walking shoes and beach flip-flops are all shoes, but serves different purpose.

A family car, a SUV and a sport cars will have different kind of tyre size  as well as they will also have different options for summer and winter. Summer tyres are the most commonly used tyres and if you live in areas without real winters, you can use summer tyres all year round. If you have some occasional winter conditions you can opt to have 2 sets or it will be wise to think  an all-weather tyre. The all-weather tyres that are winter approved are a good compromise for being able to drive all year round with the one and same set.

Electric cars and hybrids have battery packs that commonly make them heavier than cars with combustion engines. A heavier car will take longer to stop, which means that high-quality tyres become even more important especially on slippery and wet surfaces and in case of surprises. 

You should rotate the tyres in order to make them wear down as evenly as possible. This will improve the car’s handling. Generally speaking, the tyres on the driving wheels will wear out quicker than free-rolling tyres. If the tyres are evenly worn, you should rotate them from the front axle to the rear approximately every 8,000 kilometres. If two tyres are much better than the others, you should fit them on the rear axle for safety reasons.

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Good tyre performance during the summer and autumn

We all want to have good performance from our tyres when we drive. During the summer season we are able to drive a bit faster, as the roads tends to be dry and offer perfect driving conditions. Your main challenges when driving during the summer and the autumn, will be heavy rain and late autumn when some really bad weather can occur before the winter arrives and before you have time to put the summer tyres on your car.

Good summer tyres must have excellent properties both on dry and wet roads. Safety and durability should always be of highest importance when choosing premium tyres. You surely want the best possible grip and precise and logical steering to make driving easy and comfortable even on a rainy day. Good summer tyres will have excellent wet braking abilities and great aquaplaning resistance. That should keep you safe regardless of what summer weather you will face. Avoiding aquaplaning is one of the key safety issues during the summer, as it is a major cause of accidents when it is raining.

Make sure to change the summer tyres to winter tyres in time before you experience too severe winter weather. Even with state of the art summer tyres, they will not be safe to drive with once the temperature drops below zero degrees. The problem with summer tyres during winter conditions is that they turn hard, as the rubber mixture is optimized for plus degrees. So make sure that you change in time to ensure that you drive safely throughout the year.

What you will need to make sure to do is that you maintain your premium tyres, so that they reach their intended lifetime. You will need to rotate the tyres, between front and rear position to ensure that that the wear is even between the front and the rear tyres. You will also need to make sure that the tread depth is at least 4 mm, so that you will have proper driving safety. Check also the tyre pressure to ensure that you have the correct tyre pressure, too low tyre pressure will increase the fuel consumption of the car and will also wear out the tyres faster. You will also not have the optimal performance when the tyres are underinflated.For more information regarding premium tyres for summer conditions, visit:

Don’t forget to check your tyres during the summer

When you drive during summer, it can be some of the most fun and rewarding times. Often, we drive more during the summertime, as it is a nice sense of freedom. Driving at winter always seems to take a bit more effort. Summer is also the time of the year where you can push the car’s performance a bit more. To ensure that it is able to respond the way you want it to do, you will need to make sure that your summer tyres are in good condition. Bad tyres will have a very detrimental impact on your car’s performance. Your car might skid when you take sharp corners and your performance on wet surfaces will be worse with a higher risk of aquaplaning.

This can also happen if you have good tyres, but your inflation pressure is way off. Wrong tyre pressure can seriously impact the performance but can also wear out your tyres quicker. When you have too low tyre pressure, the rolling resistance increases, which leads to increased wear. This means that you will have to invest into a new set of tyres earlier than the expected lifetime of the tyre. This can be quite costly. You will also increase the fuel consumption of your car, so that you consume more fuel to drive the same distance. The combination of higher tyre wear combined with higher fuel costs can quickly make your driving not only less safe, but also very expensive. So a lot of problems of costs, for something that is very easy to check when you anyway visit the petrol station for fueling your car. Checking the tyre pressure of all 4 wheels doesn’t take many minutes.

You should also do a visual inspection to check that the tyres look ok and are free from cuts and cracks. It can be easy to damage the sides of the tyres, by hitting the curbs while parking. You should also check if there are any stones stuck in the tread, as those can damage the tread. Then you will need to measure the depth of the grooves, which can easily be done by inserting a coin into the tread and measure the depth. If you are below 4 mm depth you will need to purchase a new set of tyres to ensure safe driving. If you do all these maintenance steps, you will be in safe hands on the road.

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What to do if you feel a tendency for aquaplaning

When you drive in wet conditions, your car might be susceptible to aquaplaning. Aquaplaning occurs when the tyre isn’t able to push away the water from the contact area between the tyre and the road surface. All this is governed by the physical movement of the water away from the surface, either stored in the grooves or then pushed quickly to the sides as the tyre rolls over the surface, squeezing it away from the closing gap. A slick tyre moving at high speed is your worst option, while a deep grooved tyre moving slowly would be your best option to prevent aquaplaning.

Tyre manufacturers have made continuous improvements to summer tyres that reduce the risk for aquaplaning. Some is done with wider grooves, canals between the grooves and other different ways to channel the water to the sides. Also polished grooves to ensure a smooth flow that is not disruptive, to allow for faster flow. This is all good when the tyres are new, but as the tyres will wear, so will the good properties. Speed negatively affects the risk; so that the faster you go the more likely you are to experience it. When you experience aquaplaning, you basically lose the contact with the road surface and thus also the control of the car. Most often it just happens for a short duration, but in bad cases it can easily cause bad accidents.

If you notice that the tendency of aquaplaning becomes more frequent, you should start with checking your tyres and especially the tread depth. If your tyres are close to the 4 mm depth level, you should get a new set of tyres. This will make sure that you will be better prepared for the wet conditions. Make sure that you invest in high quality tyres that are good for wet conditions. Summer tyres will need to handle the occasional heavy summer rain, without jeopardizing your safety.

If the tyres have enough tread depth, you should check the tyre pressure to ensure that you have the sufficient pressure as per the owner’s manual. Too low pressure increases the tyre wear as well as it increases the fuel consumption when you drive, so it can be very costly to drive around with the wrong tyre pressure. So both are important to check.

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Ways to improve your driving during the summer season

Several things can impact our driving performance. Some are dependent on our driving; some of the cars performance and some come down to the tyres. Tyres play a more important role than most people think. If your tyres are bad, your driving will be worse and less safe. Your cornering ability will decrease as well as your braking distance will increase. If you have summer tyres that are worn out you are more likely to aquaplane while driving on wet roads or during heavy rain. This can be vary dangerous and seriously impact your safety.

What causes this? Having worn out tyres, tyres that have a tread depth of less than 4 mm, often causes these problems. For people who alternate between summer tyres and winter tyres, it might be tempting to wait to change the tyres until you have to, but that can endanger your driving safety. If people knew the dangers they are putting themselves into, more people would probably change tyres immediately when they notice that they have reached the 4 mm tread depth mark.

You don’t want to risk being in an accident just because you can’t brake in short enough distance, due to bad tyres. So changing your summer tyres mid-season is the only sensible thing to do. You also don’t have to worry about getting new summer tyres next year, as the ones you purchase now will be good for another few seasons. You are not saving anything by waiting and you are jeopardizing a lot, the safety of yourself and others. An accident will almost always be more expensive than any tyres that you buy.

You will need to monitor and check the tread depth of your tyres, so that you can predict when you will reach the 4 mm mark. If you are at 8 mm, you don’t have to measure as frequent as when you are at 5 mm. Once you reach the 4 mm mark, you should drive via a tyre service station and check out their assortment of tyres and purchase a new set and have them change the tyres for you. You should always purchase a full set of tyres to ensure that you don’t negatively impact the performance of the car.

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