The tyres on a car
are very important for the performance of the car. They are able to translate
the performance of the car to actually performance on the road.
tyre selection you can’t really translate the perfect performance of the car.
This is very evident when it comes to a sports car that should be able to take
corners at a high speed, but with bad tyres the tyres will lose grip and skid
potentially out of control.
Bad tyres can also
turn a car that should be safe into a car that has bad safety performance, as
the grip is bad. Good tyres need to have both good wet and dry grip on the
surface that you drive on.
If you also drive
on winter surfaces, it is important to have winter tyres that can provide
sufficient grip and traction on snow and ice, so that you can drive safely.
For winter tyres
you can often choose between studded
tyres and in some areas also winter approved all-weather
tyres. These have different situations where they excel and the choice
depends on what is most suitable for you.
provide the best grip on ice, but have some limitations on where they can be
used and also limitations on the period they can be used.
have very good flexibility as they can be used anywhere, but they should only
be used during the winter season.
tyres can be used all year round and are very flexible and can be used in most
places. With them you are always ready to drive, but for long winters it is
still better to alternate between summer and winter tyres.
If you feel that your current winter tyres are not good enough, you might have selected wrong type of tyres. When you are looking at summer tyres, there are fewer choices. Summer tyres are quite similar; there might be different dimension and high speed rating tyres and more sporty tires. However, when it comes to winter tyres, you have a few bigger differences. You have in some markets winter tyres with metal studs and you have tyres without. The metal studded tyres are not allowed in all the markets.
Winter tyres should only be used during the winter season,
unless you choose winter approved all-weather tyres, which is an all round tyre
that can be used all year round. It is designed to handle both warm summer
temperatures and wet and dry surfaces as well as it can handle cold
temperatures and slippery surfaces such as snow and ice. This is a great tyre
option for the countries that don’t have a full season on winter weather, but
still need to have the safety of a winter tyre when the winter weather arrives.
The tyre option depends a lot of what is available in your
country as well as what weather conditions that you are mostly present when you
are driving. It is clear that if you have any type of winter weather such as
low temperatures, ice or snow you will need winter tyres on your car to be able
to drive safely.
Make sure that if you choose studded tyres that you might not be able to drive in any country as well as there will be dates that you have to comply to when you are allowed to have them on and when they have to be removed. The non-studded tyres are much more versatile when it comes to that, but they need a summer tyre option for the summer months. The all-weather tyre is the only option that allows you to use only one tyre for the whole year, but it is not recommended in areas where you actually have a long and harsh winter.
Since the winter season can cause some really tricky weather to drive in, you should take time to make sure that you get the best possible tyres that can keep you safe while you drive. It is important to choose a tyre from the premium tyre manufacturer, that has good experience in producing good quality winter tyres. Choosing a manufacturer that is from one of the real winter countries like the Nordics is good starting point. They will have the experience from making tyres that will keep you safe in real winter conditions.
What you will need is a good set of winter tyres that can provide you
with the necessary grip. This is true regardless of what vehicle that you have.
All the vehicles will need winter tyres if they aim to travel safely during
winter conditions. In some countries this will also be mandatory. So you will
need to check what are the regulations applicable in your country, as it varies
from country to country. This can make travelling between the countries a bit
challenging. If you have studded tyres as your winter tyre option, you may not
travel to all the countries. If you plan to drive through for example Germany, then
you will need to make sure that you don’t have studded tyres, as it can be a
costly mistake as if you are stopped by the police with studded tyres. Here you
should make sure that you have non-studded tyres that are winter
approved before you enter Germany.
The best place to buy new tyres is from a well-assorted tyre
service station, where they have a wide selection and they can change the tyres
for you as well. You should always buy new tyres when the tread depth reaches 4
mm. Search the web for winter tyres and also look into independent tyre tests
done by car magazines, as there you will get a good indication what tyre brands
are good. Some of the tests are not directly applicable to your area and
driving conditions; so you will need to search a bit further to verify that
they tyres are good for your car and your conditions.
Selecting winter tyres is not always that straight forward. You need to make sure that you select tyres that are made for the vehicle in question. Tyres come in several dimensions and profiles, so you will need to make sure that you purchase ones that are suitable for your car. You can check the sidewall of your current tyres and write down the alphanumeric characters that you find there, or you can check the car’s manual. In addition to the dimension, your driving style and any other special circumstances can change the requirements that you need for your winter tyres.
Factors that can impact the tyre selection include how you
use the vehicle, recreational driving, for daily needs or for work deliveries
and if you use it for deliveries, does this include heavy loads? You will need
special tyres if you aim to constantly carry heavy loads, also if you drive
high speeds, as they will need a high-speed rating. Electrical and hybrid cars
are inherently more heavy than gasoline vehicles as the battery packs are heavy
and you need quite many of them. So make sure that the tyres for these vehicles
are ok with the heavier vehicles and that they are more wear resistant.
Depending on the type of your vehicle you also need special
tyres, so the tyre will differ if you have a passenger car, an SUV or a
van/light truck. They all need winter tyres to drive in winter conditions.
Getting a heavy vehicle to a full stop in slippery conditions is even more
difficult, so it does require very good winter grip. The tyres that should be
used should be winter approved, having a 3 peak mountain with snow flake symbol
on the sidewall indicating that it has passed the requirements for a real
If you have proper winter weather during the winter season,
to such a degree that you want to have specific tyres during that season, you will
have to choose between studded
tyres and non-studded
tyres. They both provide good winter grip, however, the studded are
better on ice, while they do have some limitations when it comes to the time
period that you can use them as well as they are not allowed in all the
countries or on all the roads. So it is important that you check this before
purchasing them or driving to another country.
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
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
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.
When you are in the market to buy a new set of winter tyres, it’s worthwhile to do some research or go to an expert tyre dealer. The correct tyre choice depends both on what type of vehicle you have and where you live. Some areas might have very harsh and long winters and some areas might only see some sporadic spells of winter weather. Then you of course have the areas where you don’t see any winter, where using winter tyres is not recommended unless they plan to drive to a winter destination.
When it comes to tyres that can handle winter, you have studded tyres, which have the best
possible grip and performance on icy surfaces. Then you also have non-studded
tyres that are full-fledged winter tyres that don’t use metal studs to create
grip. They use unique tread design and can use technology such as cryo-crystals
in the tread compound to create an abrasive surface that gives you grip on icy
surfaces. These tyres are not intended for summer use, as the rubber compound
and the tread design has been optimized for winter conditions. Finally you have
all-weather tyres that are approved for winter conditions.
Winter approved all-weather tyres, which are always
non-studded, are more all-round tyres that can be used all year round. They
have a rubber compound that can handle a wider temperature range. They will
allow you to be safe all year round regardless of weather. It is the perfect
tyre to use when you are really dependent on your car and you don’t want to
worry about the weather forecast or end up waking up in the morning to the fact
that you have the wrong tyres for the current weather conditions. They are
perfect for areas that don’t have so harsh winter conditions, so that you feel
that you don’t need fully dedicated winter tyres. If you have long harsh
winters, then your choice should be between studded or non-studded tyres. The
choice is more dependent on personal preference and your area’s weather
conditions. If you have more snow, they are both equally good and then the
non-studded gives you a bit more flexibility as you can freely travel between
countries. The studded tyres are thought superior if you drive in icy
conditions and want the ultimate grip, then the studded tyres is your best
As summer is coming to an end and winter is approaching it is important to start thinking about what you will do next. If you need winter tyres, then you have to start planning on when to change to winter tyres. You also have to assess if you have some winter tyres to change to. Are the ones you used last season still good enough to keep you safe while driving in challenging winter conditions? If not, then you have to start looking for a new set of tyres that have the best properties for your vehicle and for the area you live in and for the conditions that you tend to drive in.
Once you have figured out if you need new tyres or not, then
you should start planning on when you want to mount them on your car. Some
people do the tyre change themselves, which is possible, but it is still
recommended that you let a professional tyre service station do the change for
you. It isn’t only that they have the correct equipment to do it, but they are
also experts on tyres, so they will be able to assess both the tyres they take
off for any defects and they will check the tyres that go on the car so that
you know that the tyres that will be mounted are in good condition. They also
make sure that the rotation is done correctly, they balance the tyres so that
you will have a smooth driving experience and they make sure that the tyre
pressure is correct so that you drive away with tyres that are in good
condition and have the correct tyre pressure.
When it comes to winter tyres, it is important that they are
of high quality. If you need superior grip on ice, buy studded tyres, otherwise choose non-studded tyres, which are more
flexible on the European roads. Check the tread depth on a regular basis, so
that you know when it is time to change the tires for a new set. Without proper
tread depth you will have a longer braking distance, worse grip and traction,
so it is not as safe to drive. You are also more likely to go into
slushplaning, where you lose contact with the road surface and end up without
any control of the vehicle. Best way to avoid this is to have tyres with proper
tread design and depth.
Some people enjoy taking the car when the go on winter
vacation. Most people want to go skiing and then it is easy as you can easily
pack the car full with ski equipment. The ski boxes on top of the car have made
it easy to store the skis and the rest of the equipment can go in the trunk.
Before setting of on your vacation it is good to plan. Plan
the route you want to drive to get to the end destination. Call your insurance
company to ensure that you have all papers and you are covered all along the
Check the condition of your tyres. If the tread depth is below or close to 4mm, it is recommended to
change the tyres before trip, so you can drive safely and without problems
along the way.
If you have studded
tyres, you will need to check if they are allowed in all the countries you
might drive through if you plan to go abroad. Non-studded tyres should be ok.
You will need to have an extensive emergency kit in the car
with a reflective vest, warning triangle, flashlight, first aid kit and some
Check also the weather forecast and then once you are all
packed up and ready to go, stop at a petrol station and check the tyre
pressure, to make sure it is in line with the car manual. Low tyre pressure can
cause your trip to become more expensive due to higher fuel bills and you will
also wear out your tyres quicker.
Make sure to fill up the windshield washer fluid and change
the wiper blades if needed to ensure good visibility.
Staying safe while driving is a combination of a few things: having a safe car, having good quality winter tyres and driving safely. The first one can be difficult to change if you already have made your decision and you have purchased a car. The second one is very important and you need to make sure that you have a good tyre that is tested and approved for winter conditions. All the winter tyres that are tested and approved will have a symbol of a three-peak mountain with a snowflake inside it, commonly referred to as the 3PMSF symbol. If your tyres don’t have this symbol you shouldn’t be driving in winter conditions. It is that easy. You need to immediately get proper tyres if you want to drive in winter weather.
The choice of what tyre to select will
depend on where you live and what weather you tend to experience throughout the
year. You can basically categorize it into:
Mild to moderate winters
You live in an area that doesn’t always get
winter weather and if there is some, it will not be much and not for long
periods of time. Here your tyre choice can be an all-weather tyre, which would
allow you to also drive during the summers. It also allows you to always be
ready to drive regardless of weather conditions. If you are ok with changing a non-studded winter
tyre is then your best option.
Moderate winters to proper winter
Here you will for sure have winters, but
they are not the harshest conditions. You will have snow and ice during the
season. Here the non-studded winter tyres can be a good option. Studded winter tyres
can also be used if there are no restrictions of their use.
Harsh winter conditions
When you have real winter with lots of snow
and ice that carries on for most of the winter season, you will also face the harshest
winter conditions. Studded
tyres will always give you the best grip on ice,
so this is your best option for these conditions. The non-studded tyres can
also be a good option, especially if you experience a lot of snow.
Regardless of your tyre option that you
combine with your car, you will also need to drive safely. Speed should be
adjusted to the conditions that prevail. Even the best car and the best tyres
can keep you out of an accident if you are a reckless driver.