Winter tyre selection is not always that straight forward. You need to know and understand a bit about them before you can make your decision. It is not as easy as just taking a set; you will need to know what conditions you tend to drive in, what is allowed in your country and what type of vehicle you have.
Snow, ice or slush
Is your main driving on snow, ice or slush? Studded tyres perform better on ice than non-studded tyres. If you live in areas that have a lot of ice, like coastal areas or close to very big lake, you might need studded tyres.
When it comes to winter tyres you are often left with the decision if you should choose studded tyres or a non-studded tyres. Both are approved for winter conditions and are able to handle all the conditions such as snow, ice and slush. They can both manage to prevent slushplaning and ensure that snow doesn’t build up in the tyres. They have both been approved for winter use and have the 3PMSF-symbol on the sidewall of the tyres. They should also only be used during the winter period, so you will need to also have a set of summer tyres.
From performance point of view, they both perform similarly
on snow, as on snow the tread pattern will have the biggest impact on the
performance. When it comes to ice, the studded tyres, that have metal studs
protruding from the tread, perform better. They are able to create better grip
with the metal studs that dig into the ice. The non-studded will use innovative
tread designs to create grip and also they have added grip particles that can
help create the necessary grip. One might wonder why should you not select a
The studded tyres are great on ice, but have similar
performance on snow, so if you are not mainly driving on ice, you might feel
that the non-studded tyres will be good enough. If you plan to drive to other
countries you are much more flexible with the non-studded tyres, as they are
allowed in all countries, while the studded are forbidden in some countries.
The studded tyres also have some other restrictions based on countries where
most countries limit the time period that the studded tyres can be used.
If both tyres are allowed, then it is often up to personal preference. For some people a tyre are not winter tyres if they don’t have studs. This type of mindset can be difficult to change, even though the non-studded tyres have improved so much over the years that they are now equally good on snow and almost as good on ice. So both can safely be used, but if you do wan to have the best possible grip on ice, then you should choose studded tyres. If you are flexible, then choose the non-studded tyres as you have more flexibility.
The tyres that you have on your car have the important task of keeping your car safely on the road and translating the performance of the car to the road. Wrong tyre selection can cause the whole driving experience to be bad and even dangerous. You will need to make sure that both your summer tyres and your winter tyres are of good quality. You need to replace the tyres when the tread depth has gone below 4 mm, as the tyres lose a lot of its key safety properties once you go below that threshold.
Winter tyres are available both as studded and non-studded.
They are both good for all the winter conditions that include cold temperatures
as well as snow, ice and slush. Winter tyres are actually better than summer
tyres at temperatures below zero degrees Celsius, so you don’t have to wait for
snow or ice to arrive before you change tyres and enjoy the better safety of
the winter tyres at the low temperatures and you will then be ready for the
snow and ice as it arrives. Since it is very dangerous to drive with summer
tyres once the winter weather arrives, so you need to be prepared and already
have winter tyres on when it arrives.
Which tyre to choose, depends a bit on personal preference.
It also depends on how and where you drive and then the area where you live. If
you live in areas that have a lot of icy roads, then the studded tyres are to prefer as the
metal studs provide better grip on ice and packed snow. If you live in areas
where you have more snow-covered roads, then both tyre options are good.
However, if you tend to drive a lot to other parts or Europe during the winter
season, where studded tyres are not allowed, then it is better to choose
non-studded tyres, as they are allowed in all countries. You also have fewer
restrictions on them when it comes to the time period that you can use them.
It is important to buy premium tyres that will last and will
provide sufficient safety when you drive. You also need to make sure that you
have them mounted before the winter weather arrives, as they are of no use if
they are not on your car.
As Europe is a big continent the weather varies a lot. The northern parts have 4 clear seasons and some of the southern parts have basically no winters. Therefore there are no European tyre regulations covering the whole continent. There are even different tyre options available, where the Nordics don’t have all-weather tyres, as there is a real long winter present, so the dedicated winter tyres are a better and safer option. While in the central parts of Europe an all-weather tyre is a perfect option for areas that have sporadic winter weather, so a tyre change might not make sense. Here you can have all year round safety within one tyre. If you don’t have any winter weather presence, you can use the summer tyres all year round.
The Nordic has laws stating that you have to have winter
tyres mounted during winter. For studded tyres there is an earliest
date when you can have them on your car and there is a last date you can have
them on in spring. Both these dates only apply if there are no winter
conditions, if you still have winter weather common sense applies and you will
not get fined. In central and southern Europe some countries have limitation on
the use of and some have made it mandatory. In addition to the Nordics, it is
mandatory to have winter tyres during the winter months in Estonia, Latvia
Lithuania, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Croatia. Then you have a few countries where
it is mandatory if the weather demands it, these are Luxembourg, Germany, Austria,
Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia. Where Italy, Spain and France have
certain roads demands it. Then you have the countries where they studded tyres
are prohibited. These include Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary,
Great Britain, Czech Republic and Poland. In addition they are not allowed in
Switzerland on the highways.
These restrictions can of course cause some problems if you
plan to drive through Europe with studded tyres. In Germany you will get fined
and prohibited to continue before you can change to non-studded tyres. So this
can be quite costly. So it is important to plan your trips and also take it
into consideration when you make your tyre choice. When countries require
winter tyres, you will need to have tyres that have been approved for winter
conditions and have the 3PMSF-symbol on the sidewall.
There are numerous articles written on this subject and most people are aware of it, but still every year people are caught badly prepared for the winter when it arrives. People are very reluctant to change to winter tyres too early, so they wait it out and then end up caught by surprise. It is true that winter tyres are to be used only during the winter season, the main reasons is because they have been optimized for cold temperatures and winter surfaces. There might be regulations, which make the studded tyres should not be mounted on your car outside certain dates.
Since winter tyres have been optimized for the cold
temperatures, it means that it is enough that the temperatures drops before you
should change. When you have temperatures below zero degrees Celsius, the
winter tyres perform better than summer
tyres. So you should just wait for the snow to arrive, as soon as you
see that the night temperatures go below zero you can change your tyres. Having
summer tyres and trying to drive in winter conditions is associated with
danger, while having winter tyres and you have some warmer weather, the main
drawback is slightly higher wear, but it is not associated with danger. So from
a safety perspective it is important to do the change early.
Higher wear is often also associated with low tyre pressure
or low quality tyres, so change tyres early, but make sure that you have high
quality winter tyres to reduce wear during the times when you drive before the
winter arrives. Make also sure to check your tyre pressure so that you have the
right pressure in the tyres to ensure that you have low rolling resistance and
thus low wear. High rolling resistance also negatively impacts your fuel
consumption so it is important to check it. The pressure is correlated with
temperature, so that when the temperature drops, so does the tyre pressure. So
the pressure will not be constant, which warrants a regular tyre pressure check
when you visit the petrol station.
Changing tyres to winter tyres is all about safety and
performance. You want to make sure that you can drive safely and stay on the
road during the winter. So make sure to change early enough before the winter
starts for the best results.For more
info regarding changing to winter tyres, visit: www.nokiantyres.com
Proper tyres improve the safety for everyone in your car, but also for the other cars that are around you. Proper winter tyres are very important for your driving safety as they dictate how well you will be able to stay on the road, how short your braking distance will be and what grip and control you will have. This is why it is so important that you select tyres that are matching the environment where you will drive. If you live in an area that have a few months of proper winter, you should get proper winter tyres that are optimized for these conditions. They will need to be mounted before the winter weather arrives and will be changed to summer tyres when the winter has passed.
This will give you the best possible grip on all winter
surfaces and will work better than summer tyres when the temperature drops
below zero degrees, where the summer tyres start becoming too hard to provide
you with the sufficient grip that you will need for safe driving. This is why
you will need to make sure that you have winter tyres mounted well before the
winter starts. You don’t have to wait for the snow to arrive, it is enough that
the night temperatures go below zero degrees. The longer you wait with changing
the higher the risk is that you might have some unexpected snow arriving. If
this happens you should avoid driving and find alternative transportation to
get to your destination. So if you are really dependent on your vehicle it is
better to change a week too early than risk getting caught by an unexpected
weather change. This is also true when it comes to changing back to summer tyres, don’t do it too
When it comes to selecting the winter tyres, you can choose
from studded tyres or non-studded tyres.
Some areas might restrict the use of studded tyres, where you have to go with a
non-studded tyre. In these cases you can often choose between a year round tyre
like an all-weather tyre or then the seasonal winter tyre. The seasonal is the
correct choice if you will have a few months of proper winter, where as the
all-weather tyre is perfect for more irregular areas where it is good to always
be prepared.For more
info regarding winter tyres, visit: www.nokiantyres.com
Studded tyres: The
studded tyres use metal studs
protruding from the tread to provide the necessary grip on icy surfaces. They
have some limitations when it comes to the period, when they can be used.
Non-studded tyres: The
non-studded tyres don’t have metal
studs and can be used without limitations. They are though optimized for the
winter season and will have increased wear if used during the warmer season.
The tyres use unique tread design to provide the necessary grip on ice and
snow. They are just as good as studded on snow and almost as good on ice.
All-weather tyres: All-weather tyres are a good tyre for all weather conditions, so they work just as well on dry summer roads as on snowy winter roads.
When you want to drive safely, and in some countries legally, in winter you will need to have winter tyres on your vehicle. The tyres should be mounted before the winter weather arrives, so that you can remain safe while driving. When you talk about non-studded tyres, they are so called tyres that are dedicated for winter use. They are called non-studded to differentiate them from the studded tyres, that are also dedicated winter tyres, but they use metal studs to create grip.
Non-studded tyres should not be confused with winter
approved all-weather tyres that can be used during the winter seasons but can
also be used for all year round driving. The non-studded tyres should be removed
and replaced with summer tyres once the winter season is over. They use a
rubber compound that is optimized for keeping the tyre soft and agile even at
low temperatures, but will wear too quickly if used during hot summers. This is
why it is important to change the tyres once the winter season has passed.
Non-studded tyres use the tread design to create enough
friction on snow, ice and slush so that you can enjoy trouble free safe
driving. They use innovative sipes and snow claw functionality between the
shoulder and tread blocks that can grip the ice and have cryo-crystal grip
particles to further improve the grip on ice.
The non-studded tyres are great for winter driving and offer
a lot of flexibility. The non-studded tyres are not regulated as when you can
mount them on your car, so that you can mount them well in time before the
winter arrives, so that you don’t end up with summer tyres trying to drive in
winter conditions. This can be a very dangerous situation and should be
avoided. You shouldn’t drive with non-studded tyres all year round, as they are
optimized for winter conditions and they will wear out faster if used in summer
conditions. However, placing them on your car a few weeks too early before the
winter arrives is a very low price to pay for the extra safety of having the
right tyres already mounted on your car so that you are ready to drive if you
end up in winter conditions. This is very good if you are really dependent on
your car every day.
The category all-weather tyres have been somewhat of a blessing for a lot of drivers, as they now feel more liberated for not having to worry about weather forecasts before heading out. This is at least true if you have selected a premium tyre that is tested and approved for winter conditions. These tyres will have the 3PMSF-symbol on the sidewall of the tyre. This symbol indicates that it has passed the requirements that regulates winter tyres.
You can easily travel between different
countries and break the law as you cross the borders due to having tyres that
are not legal in the country. Some countries will restrict studded tyres and some countries
will demand winter approved tires, which means tyres
with the 3PMSF-symbol. This can cause some problems when you travel during the
year between countries, most commonly during the winter season going on winter
trips. It can become costly if you have studded tyres on your car and you plan
to pass through Germany on your way south. To avoid problems along the way, you
should always check what is required by the various countries in terms of
insurances and which tyres you are legally allowed to have. Handling the problems
before you leave will always save costs along the road.
The winter approved all-weather tyres work
in both winter and summer conditions. However, in extreme winter conditions
with a lot of ice, a sturdy set of studded tyres are always a better and safer
choice. Nothing can really beat metal studs what it comes to grip and traction
on ice. On snow, all-weather tyres perform decently, but a non-studded winter
tyre will have a tread pattern designed for proper winter conditions, while
all-weather tyre needs to also incorporate a lot of other functionality into
the tread for warm and cold conditions both. This means the non-studded tyres winter
properties will be better for this purpose.
One should just keep in mind that having
all-weather tyres, is a compromise tyre that is great regardless of the weather
conditions, however there are often better tyres for the current conditions.
This means that you should still respect the surroundings and the conditions
and be cautions when you drive in extreme conditions. For more
info regarding all-weather tyres, visit: www.nokiantyres.com
Winter tyres are available as studded or non-studded versions. The studded tyres will use metal studs to gain traction on ice and packed snow, while it will use unique tread design to have good traction on snow. The non-studded tyres will use other technologies to provide excellent grip on snowy roads and good wear durability. Non-studded tyres may, for example, have tiny crystal like particles in the rubber compound to create a sand paper feeling surface that is great on snow and ice. This Cryo Crystal concept provides both longitudinal and latitudinal grip for winter conditions. The tread in non-studded tyres has a unique design with lots of features that improve the grip such as zigzag and pump sipes to ensure good grip even on wet ice.
studs tend to be a bit superior on ice, but the difference keeps getting
smaller with the amount of improvements that is being done on the non-studded
tyres. On snow both tyres perform
equally well. The tyre choice depends on the weather conditions of your area
and on your personal preferences.
important that the tread depth of a tyre is above the 4mm, as your tyres will
lose the key properties once the tread depth goes below the 4mm. To ensure that
the tread depth is equal between the front and the rear tyres, you should
rotate the tyres every now and then. It is important that you mark the position
of the tyre before you store them for the next season. When it is time to
rotate the tyres, remember that the studded tyres are directional. You should change
the rear left position with the left front position and the same with the right
change should be done in line with the local regulations. If you suspect that
there might be some winter weather returning, it may be better to wait a little
bit longer before you change your tyres.