10 things to know about winter tyres
Each winter, we receive a large number of questions from users. Today, we offer you a condensed summary of the most recurring themes and a review of true and false beliefs.
On the same topic
1. It is possible to fit two winter tyres only:
FALSE: Winter tyres are fitted in fours. By fitting only 2 winter tyres, there is a risk that the vehicle’s handling becomes unbalanced and dangerous, with a tendency to over- or under-steer, depending on the position of winter tyres on the vehicle.
Illustration in video with a car equipped with winter tyres at the front and summer tyres at the rear on a snow covered surface:
For more information, read the guide Can you get away with only fitting winter tyres at the front?
2. 4x4 vehicles don’t need winter tyres:
FALSE: A 4x4 vehicle can do absolutely nothing on snow if it does not have suitable tyres that deliver good grip. It may even be dangerous when driving down a snow covered hill and start tobogganing due to its weight.
For more information, read the guide Do 4x4 vehicles need winter tyres?
3. A winter tyre is only effective in snow:
FALSE: A winter tyre becomes legitimate on all surfaces and in all conditions as soon as temperatures drop below 7°C. For info, on a wet road at a temperature of 5°C, the braking distance of a summer tyre is 4 metres longer than that of a winter tyre.
For more information, read the guide What’s the difference between a summer and a winter tyre?
4. Tyres must be over-inflated in winter:
TRUE: Tyre pressure is related to the ambient temperature. Since the measured pressure is less at low temperatures, then 0.2 bar (almost 3 psi) should be added to the normal recommended pressure during the winter period.
For more information, read the guide What pressure in winter?
5. A narrow tyre is more effective in snow:
TRUE: A narrower tread improves traction and grip on snow covered roads.
To find the dimensions of tyres approved for your vehicle, click here
6. Nordic tyres and Alpine tyres are different:
TRUE: Alpine tyres (or winter) are designed for ‘standard’ use in areas with a temperate climate where drivers are likely to encounter snow, tar or rain... A Nordic tyre is designed to be used in tough winter conditions where temperatures are extremely cold.
For more information, read the guide Nordic, alpine, studded, all seasons: Choose the right tyres for winter
7. M+S tyres are real winter tyres:
FALSE: The only marking that guarantees the winter qualities of a tyre is 3PMSF (a mountain and a snow flake meaning Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake)
For more information, read the guide Are M+S tyres winter tyres?
8. Winter tyres can be used in summer:
TRUE: But a winter tyre cannot provide the same level of performance and safety as a summer tyre when temperatures rise above 7°C. Also, it will probably wear more quickly at high temperatures.
For more information, read the guide Winter tyres: Can I drive with them in summer?
9. Snow tyres and winter tyres are different:
FALSE: Snow tyres, Alpine tyres and winter tyres form one single category of products. Only Nordic tyres belong to a different category.
10. Winter tyres are more expensive than summer tyres:
TRUE: On average, for the same dimensions, winter tyres are 15 to 20% more expensive than their summer counterparts. However, it is believed that this difference is expected to decrease over the coming years with the democratisation of winter tyres.
Articles in the same header
- Rezulteo’s test: Are Pirelli’s winter tyres compatible with high performance vehicles?
- Winter tyre : can one drive with in Summer
- Summer tyres versus winter tyres: comparing acceleration on the snow
- Dunlop Winter Sport 5, a new winter sports tyre
- The top best all season tyres for 2015 / 2016
- A tyre that changes colour when it’s time to switch to winter tyres
- The top best winter tyres for 2015/2016
- Top 8 best winter tyres for 2014/2015
- Nokian invents a winter tyre with retractable studs
- Goodyear demonstrates the importance of winter tyres