We must modify our routines and vehicles as winter approaches to account for the bad weather. Winter tires are a great alternative, but we must understand how to use them effectively.
Winter is marked by short days, chilly weather, rain, frost, and occasionally snow and ice. All of this impacts driving, and as individuals in charge of our cars, we must be aware of all the implications.
Other valuable articles have covered topics like how to drive at night or in the rain, how to pick the best snow chains, and what to do if there is snow or ice on the roads.
This time, we’ll discuss winter tires as a highly suggested substitute for chains. Do you want to learn more about their qualities and why they might be your best choice? Join us, and we’ll address all of your inquiries.
What makes winter tires so unique?
Winter tires are made specifically for driving in low-temperature conditions, whether snow andore on the road. This primarily sets them apart from chains and makes them significantly more comfortable in every situation.
Of course, whether chains and winter tires are equivalent in terms of their effectiveness and legality may come up. The truth is that you must follow the DGT when they declare a red level on a route.
A detailed comparison of all-season, winter, and summer tires.
The law states that certified winter tires are equivalent to snow chains, allowing users to drive on the “red” (snow-covered) stretch in a manner that is at least as good as with chains because these tires eliminate the possibility of damage or deformation brought on by the metal links (although there are other types of chains, of course).
Thus, winter tires are acceptable and do not require stopping at the curb to attach chains.
In contrast to summer tires, which harden and lose a lot of traction below 7oC, they are built with a specific tread pattern for harsh winter conditions and materials that respond considerably better to the cold.
Winter tires’ flexible rubber and deep treads offer improved traction on any surface, whether dry, rainy, snowy, or ice. Doing this decreases the braking distance, and vehicle and road handling are optimized.
How to identify winter tires
The marking on a tire’s outside sidewall is the first clue that it is a winter tire. This M+S (Mud+Snow) label denotes that the tire has been approved for winter.
Winter tires are also distinct in composition and design. Some of them are highlighted by Michelin, one of the companies with the most extended history in this category of goods:
The tread has many more cuts or sipes.
Throughout the tread depth, 3D-style self-locking sipes increase handling when driving on dry roads.
10% more tire tread depth for improved flexibility on slick surfaces
Sidewalls with more give for a larger contact patch and grip.
What exactly are winter tires 3PMSF?
Another, more sophisticated model provides superior performance within the winter tire category. Its icon is a mountain with a snowflake inside, followed by the letters M+S, and is known as 3 Peak Mountain Snow Flake (3PMSF).
This kind of winter tire is approved in a lab by a specified rule, assuring that it provides the performance required for driving on snow.
What happens if I put a summer tire on a winter vehicle?
The rubber they are constructed of and the design employed cause tires, specifically engineered to operate in harsh situations, to deteriorate quickly in high temperatures.
Additionally, they won’t perform as well under lateral (cornering) and longitudinal (braking, traction) loads because of their increased flexibility. Winter tires are only suitable below seven °C or throughout the winter.
The optimum time to install them is in October or November, and the most fantastic time to take them off is in March when the temperature is above 12°C.
These are a few examples of winter tires available on the market.
In general, using winter tires in the summer results in the following:
- Increased stopping distance; it may be twice as long.
- More excellent wear (and remember that they typically cost 10% more).
- Low efficiency (grain production at temperatures above 30 C).
- Greater consumption and a slower top speed (higher rolling resistance).
Snow tires and all-season tires have different properties.
The All Season tire is designed to respond appropriately to all circumstances. It can function well in the winter, unlike summer tires. Additionally, it can withstand high temperatures better than the winter tire.
In the event of significant snowfall or ice on the road, All Season tires should be installed to ensure safe driving and, incidentally, to avoid being penalized.
However, not all All Season tires are approved to replace chains (be sure they have the M+S marks).
The three things you ought to do—and ought not to do—when starting your automobile in the cold.
While starting your car’s engine in the winter, the three things to do (and the three things to avoid).
This kind of tire falls midway between summer and winter tires, as you might expect. Though it won’t last as long, the rubber is softer than the summer variety but does an excellent job withstanding heat and dry asphalt.
It also features a more intricate tread pattern with deeper sipes, which improves its performance over the summer tire in wet or slick conditions, yet it falls short of the knowledge and efficiency of the M+S and the winter 3PMSF.
The main benefit of an all-season tire is that it provides balanced performance throughout the year without needing to switch it out according to the season.
You will have the security of not needing anything else to operate your vehicle if it also has the M+S homologation.
However, there may be significant variations in durability depending on the model, as this will rely on the type of rubber, the pattern of the tread, and the flexibility of the casing.
Do you believe you should purchase winter tires for your automobile now that you are knowledgeable about them?
It is a decision to consider whether you live somewhere that gets regular winter snowfall or frigid temperatures with lots of frosts.