A Guide to Winter Tires with Tirescanner

Winter tires are pivotal for a number of reasons during colder weather, if you live in a cooler climate. Tirescanner are tire experts and allow you to purchase your tires online and have them fitted at local shops. We discussed winter tires with them before creating this piece.

Why Winter Tires?

Whenever the temperature drops below 7˚C (Celsius), all surfaces tend to become slippery, especially on wet surfaces. That is because the water is beginning to freeze and at 0˚C (Celsius) surface water freezes. Under these conditions, driving on regular tires becomes a challenge. This is where winter tires come into the picture. While driving, you need the shortest braking distance (under all road conditions and surfaces).

Winter tires offer the shortest braking distance on wet, icy surfaces. This is made possible by the characteristics of the rubber compound used to manufacture winter tires. One of its characteristics is the ability to retain elasticity at low temperatures, which guarantees the best possible grip on ice and snow.  Furthermore, winter tires are designed to offer comfort, quietness, and resistance to wear.

When Is The Best Time To Fit Winter Tires?

Knowing the right time to fit winter tires in your vehicle is paramount. Tirescanner recommend installing these tires when the temperature falls below 7˚C. For example, if you are living in the North-Western parts of Europe, the right time to fit winter tires is at the end of September. You are also advised to keep them until April.

How Do You Store Summer Tires?

If you are storing summer tires with their rims; we recommend the following. Begin by cleaning the tires and rims very well with clean water and then allow them to dry. After that, you can either store them by laying them down flat on the floor or hanging up. You can also stack them up. Also, ensure you have raised their pressure to 40 psi.   Do not forget to remark the wheels to know which side of the vehicle they belong to. Do not allow the tires to come into contact with petroleum or chemical products.  Also, store them in a cool dark place.

Should You Fit Two Or Four Winter Tires?

There is no doubt that winter tires improve traction while driving at low temperatures. Therefore, why should you have only two? In fact, it is never advisable to drive with two winter tires because it may create unusual instability, especially while taking corners.

What Pressure Is Suitable in Winter Tires?

The truth is that it is not necessary to inflate winter tires differently from regular summer tires. It is wise to check tire pressure every two weeks and do that when they are cold.

Can I still Use Snow Chains?

In some conditions and areas, using a snow chain is compulsory. If you get into an accident and you have not fitted snow chains, you may be held responsible for the accident. However, with winter tires, installing snow chains is unnecessary. In fact, if you wish to enjoy a much comfortable and smoother drive you should take them off where necessary.

What About Driving With A Lower Speed Code?

Many European countries apply a lower speed code of driving during winter. As such, with winter tires, you do not have to worry about this because they can be used with lower speed code. The best option, however, is to invest in lower speed rated tires in the winter. Remember, with these tires, one is recommended not to drive beyond the rated or capable speed.

The tire speed rating is as follows:

Speed Rating   –   Miles Per Hour

T   –   118

H   –   130

V   –   149

W, Y, Z   –   150+

What About Winter Driving Techniques?

Driving on snow or ice demands one to change or adapt their driving style. This is something we are taught when learning how to drive. Therefore, during winter, when you want to accelerate, you do not press the gas pedal too hard or use too much gas – otherwise, you will skid off the road. This technique also applies when braking. Both braking and accelerating must be done gradually. This technique also applies to steering around bends or negotiating corners.

Do I Need Winter Car Equipment?

Of course, you need a few winter car equipment.  First, it is wise to prepare your vehicle for bad weather conditions. This generally includes fitting a vehicle with winter tires, carrying a spare tire, checking the condition of the battery, coolant, oil, and tire pressure. Do not forget to invest in a window and lock de-icer, especially when driving or when parked the vehicle outside. Do not forget to include jumping cables and towing cables close. Also, it is wise to wash your vehicle more times than usual because the salt used on roads is bad for the car.

The Importance of Tread Thickness In Winter Tires

Any winter tire with less than 3mm of tread will not guarantee optimal performance on ice or snow. Therefore, experts recommend not re-using such a tire during the winter months. It is important to remember that in some countries, a tire will no-longer be considered a winter tire if its tread is less than 4mm, especially in counties where winter tires are compulsory, like Austria and Germany.

What About Winter Runflat Tires?

The truth is that winter Runflat tires are expensive but offer additional safety of not losing shape when there is a loss of pressure. If you need these tires, we can definitely supply you with certain winter sizes of Runflat tires. Nonetheless, because of their price tag, many customers shy away from them.

For this reason, we decided to come up with several wheel and tire packages for regular winter tires. For example, in one of our purchase package, we offer a mini compressor and repair foam that will help you when you get a puncture.

NOTE: if you are using Rundflat tires, but wish to replace or change to regular tires, then it is wise to replace all 4.