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Winter Tyres: Which Types Should You Use?

Choosing the right winter tyres is crucial to ensuring road safety as winter draws nearer.

Also known as snow tyres, these tyres are designed to tackle harsh conditions such as snow, ice, and cold temperatures while providing improved grip and control.

Keep reading to understand what they are and how to buy tyres that meet your specific needs, allowing you to face the winter months confidently and safely.

 

Which Types of Car Tyres Are There?

The main types of tyres are:

 

  • Summer Tyres

Summer tyres are designed to perform well in hot, dry conditions.

They are made from harder rubber and are ideal for use in hot weather, providing a good grip on dry roads.

 

  • Winter Tyres

Also known as snow tyres, winter tyres are specifically designed for cold climates where temperatures dip below 7°C.

They are made from softer rubber and have deeper tread patterns, allowing for better grip in snowy, icy, and wet conditions.

 

  • All-season Tyres

These tyres, which can be used all year round, provide a compromise between summer and winter performance.

All-season tyres work well in various conditions but may not be ideal in extreme conditions.

 

  • High-Performance Tyres

These tyres are designed for sports and high-performance cars and provide excellent grip on wet and dry roads.

In addition, they improve the high-speed driving experience.

 

 

What is the Difference Between Summer and Winter Tyres?

While summer tyres are made from harder rubber, which provides good grip in hot, dry weather, winter tyres are made from softer rubber to suit cold temperatures and slippery road surfaces.

Tread patterns also vary: summer tyres have shallower grooves for dry roads, while winter tyres have deeper grooves and narrow cuts for snow and ice.

 

Should you Choose Winter or Summer Tyres?

The choice between winter and summer tyres depends on the weather and driving conditions.

Use winter tyres in colder seasons and summer tyres when temperatures start rising for optimal balance. This will ensure maximum safety and efficiency throughout the year.

 

How can you Identify Snow Tyres?

The easiest way to identify snow tyres is to look for the “M+S” or “3PMSF” markings on the sides of the tyres.

The “M+S” marking stands for “Mud and Snow” and indicates that the tyre is ideal for winter conditions.

“3PMSF” stands for “Three Peak Mountain Snowflake” and is a stricter marking that indicates superior snow performance.

 

When should you use Winter Tyres?

As soon as temperatures drop below 7°C, you should use winter tyres because, at that point, summer tyres can lose their efficiency and grip on cold, slippery surfaces.

 

Can You Use Only Two Winter Tyres?

Using only two winter tyres can create an imbalance in the grip and control of your vehicle, especially under conditions such as snow and ice.

As such, it is recommended that when using winter tyres, you replace all four tyres and follow the specific guidelines provided by your vehicle manufacturer.

 

Can you Use Winter Tyres in Summer?

Using winter tyres in summer is not recommended, as these tyres are designed for colder temperatures and can wear out quickly in hot conditions, resulting in lower fuel savings.

In addition, winter tyres tend to have a higher bearing resistance in hot temperatures, which can negatively affect fuel consumption.

It is therefore advisable to switch to summer or all-season tyres during the hot season to ensure improved energy efficiency and durability.

 

Are Winter Tyres mandatory in the Rest of Europe?

Regarding the use of winter tyres in Europe, the rules vary from country to country and depend on local weather conditions.

Some European countries have regulations requiring winter tyres or snow chains during the cold season or in snowy and icy conditions.

As such, if you are planning to drive in any European country, you should read that specific country’s legislation regarding winter tyres before doing so.

 

 

 Want some Tips for Choosing Winter Tyres?

To choose your winter tyres, you should:

  • Look for tyres marked “M+S” or ” 3PMSF”;
  • Check tyre ratings and reviews;
  • Choose a tyre type that complies with local regulations;
  • Assess driving conditions and the type of winter faced;
  • Consult a professional if you have questions about the type of car tyre to choose.

 

How do you Check Tyre Wear?

Tyres have an indicator called “TWI” (Tread Wear Indicator), which is a series of raised bars between the tyre grooves. When the tyre wears down to these bars, it is a sign that your tyres have reached the legal wear limit and should be replaced.

Another way to check for wear is to look at the tread to find signs that may indicate problems with your car’s alignment or suspension.

You should also check the surface of your car tyres for cuts, blisters, or cracks. Any significant damage can weaken tyres.

Ensure your tyres are kept at the correct pressure by checking them regularly, as the wrong pressure can affect tyre wear and performance.

 

Which Device is Used to Measure Tyre Wear?

Tyre wear can be measured with an analogue calliper or a digital gauge.

These tools assess the depth of tyre grooves, which is crucial for road safety.

Analogue callipers require a visual reading of the measurement, while digital gauges provide accurate digital readings.

 

Which Tyre Pressure Measuring Devices are Available at KROFtools?

KROFtools sells two distinct models:

 

 

 

 

Car Garage-Specific Products

The KROFtools catalogue also contains the following garage-specific products:

 

How much do Winter Tyres Cost?

Winter tyres can cost hundreds of euros.

In contrast, tyre inflator gauge prices generally vary between tens and hundreds of euros, depending on brand and use.

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