Winter tyres - Why should you change them?

  • Author: OPONEO.IE

You should mount the winter tyres to your care because the rubber compounds applied in the summer tyres lose their useful properties: e.g. flexibility, grip when the temperature falls below 7°C.

When should I consider changing my tyres?

When the average temperature in the day time falls below 10°C and 0°C at night. This is the most suitable time to mount the winter tyres instead of the summer ones; even if it does not snow.

Tread pattern of winter tyres

Tread pattern in the most modern winter tyres is the result of the simulations via computer software. The tyres should dredge into the snow and dig themselves out from the snow as soon as possible. Therefore the winter tyre can run a new and maximally extended surface of grip. These features are provided by a tyre with numerous lugs and grooves. The lugs on the winter tyre comes in many different sizes; their positions can be adjusted; additional cuts along the edges of the tyre are also featured.


Winter tyres –pattern of tread

The longitudal grooves are complemented with the lateral grooves which is used to dispose of the water and slush from the connection surface. It increase the grip to the road surface.
The directional and asymmetrical tread patterns are the most popular among in winter tyres.

Directional winter tyres


Winter tyres - directional tread

  • A chevron-like pattern tread.
  • Directional tyres feature the arrow which indicates the direction of rolling
  • Constant contact with road surface are provided by grooves disposing of the excess of slush and water from beneath the tyre.

Winter tyres with an asymmetrical tyre tread


Winter tyres - asymmetrical tread

  • Different inner and outer parts of the tyre tread.
  • The inner side is responsible for disposal of the excess of water and providing a proper grip to the road surface
  • The outer side – for proper stability and grip while cornering
  • The tread surface has an assymetrical pattern of grooves
  • While mounting such tyres you should watch out to keep the proper position to the outer side (marked OUTSIDE) in the right side.

Additional elements helpful in the winter

  • Tyres specified by the manufacturer. Such solutions can only be used in some countries and regions (Scandinavia, northern Russia).
  • Snow chains. Polish traffic regulations let use the snow chains harsh winter conditions. In some spots you can come across a C-18 road sign which means it is compulsory to attach snow chains.
NOTICE! Keep that in mind that driving with snow chains affect negatively your car’s stability. Furthermore, chains can seriously decrease your tyres’ durability.

Advice about maintenance

  • Winter tyres can be one size smaller than summer tyres.
  • Winter tyres can use a slightly higher pressure than their nominal value (by 0.2 - 0.3 bar).


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