Wheels and Tires

Tire testing at different temperatures

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  • Dec 11th, 2019 12:12 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 12, 2010
143 posts
163 upvotes

Tire testing at different temperatures



I've always been a little suspect of the 7C switchover temperature that everyone cites. Coming from the tire companies, it could be a marketing ploy.
Well someone actually tested it. This guy shows that the 7C temperature switchover applies to "summer" tires. " The "All season" tire he tested worked down to 2C on wet pavement. Another interesting point was that on dry pavement the summer tire worked best down to 2C.

While this is one test at certain conditions and only on specific types of tires, it does cause one to think about the 7C temperature swichover that everyone references.
4 replies
Sr. Member
User avatar
Nov 29, 2011
968 posts
342 upvotes
Milton
TimFr wrote:


I've always been a little suspect of the 7C switchover temperature that everyone cites. Coming from the tire companies, it could be a marketing ploy.
Well someone actually tested it. This guy shows that the 7C temperature switchover applies to "summer" tires. " The "All season" tire he tested worked down to 2C on wet pavement. Another interesting point was that on dry pavement the summer tire worked best down to 2C.

While this is one test at certain conditions and only on specific types of tires, it does cause one to think about the 7C temperature swichover that everyone references.
You're getting tunnel vision on the 7C.

By the time the temperature is statistically likely to be regularly below 7C, which is Nov 15 in Toronto, you're already at risk of having days below 7C (or 2C), and winter conditions. It's not like all the weather is planned out and it's a perfect gradual decline from Labour Day to Christmas.

This year that first snow or snowstorm was around Nov 10, and we had temperatures at or below zero before Nov 15.

The 7C is also a little further above zero, so likely to give a bit more leeway before we get into sub-zero temperatures with more risk of ice and snow. Imagine if everyone was trying to push it up against 2C instead of 7C. Tire shops already were booked solid from pretty much October through December.

With summer tires being good on dry until 2C, that's still only on dry.

There's also the aspect that if you have winter tires, why would you delay putting them on until it's either too late or right up against when you'd most need them?

I'm not sure if you're just being contrarian, trolling, or trying to excuse procrastination.
Deal Addict
Jan 17, 2009
2982 posts
2899 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
Like the above poster said, the 7 is a ballpark number that people throw around.

Also winter tires are way cheaper summers so i don't worry about throwing them on early and leaving them on a bit longer. I try for end of October or early November, and leave them on until April-ish depending on the weather. Never had a problem.
Newbie
User avatar
May 31, 2008
92 posts
77 upvotes
TimFr wrote:


I've always been a little suspect of the 7C switchover temperature that everyone cites. Coming from the tire companies, it could be a marketing ploy.
Well someone actually tested it. This guy shows that the 7C temperature switchover applies to "summer" tires. " The "All season" tire he tested worked down to 2C on wet pavement. Another interesting point was that on dry pavement the summer tire worked best down to 2C.

While this is one test at certain conditions and only on specific types of tires, it does cause one to think about the 7C temperature swichover that everyone references.
This is very true. Many seem to concern themself with what will be the best tire for snow and ice during the winter, while very few consider how that same tire will react on dry pavement.. which if you live in the Toronto area for example, is what you will be driving on the vast majority of time. Tires that are the best for snow and ice will NOT perform as well as all-season tires on dry pavement. And yes, even below 7C. Many do not know this.

This is not a plug for all-season tires during the winter. But people should be aware of the limitations of winter tires while on dry pavement and how your stopping distance will be greatly affected.


I always hear people say that all-season tires are no season tires, but you can also say the same for winter tires when you are not experiencing winter conditions.

Driving for the conditions is key. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people passing me 10km over the limit in a 50kmh zone or 20 kmh over the limit in a 60kph zone on COMPLETELY snow covered roads.

http://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/Article/20 ... e-Test.htm
https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/co ... son-tests/
https://jalopnik.com/winter-tires-are-g ... 1821468055
Member
Feb 2, 2018
414 posts
385 upvotes
Montreal
Thanks for posting that OP, learned something today with regards to braking distances of our Nokians on non-wintery conditions.

It is unlikely to change my mind about putting on winters though. The negatives of running all-seasons for those snowy/icy days are disproportionate compared to running winters during the rest of the time. After all, I’m sure there’s still plenty of grip with winters on dry pavement. The last few years here in Montreal, the temps were regularly below -20 in the morning too, for which I reduce speed even with winter tires on dry roads.

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