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.
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- 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
- Track'N'Go: Forget winter tyres and snow chains