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Best Car Winter Tires for 2020 – QP Ratings and Buyer’s Guide

14.02.2020 4

The choice of good winter tires is of great importance, because the tires depend on the confidence of the car’s behavior on snow-covered, icy roads. Often drivers are irresponsible about this issue, which makes it difficult for them at the last moment to buy really good and suitable for the features of the car or driving style tires. Prudent motorists during the warm season observe market trends, study the ratings of winter studded tires and make appropriate conclusions before buying. Several key criteria were used to determine the best winter tires. This made it possible to make a certain top, which included 10 tires from different manufacturers.

NameQP Rating
Michelin X-Ice Xi3 Winter Radial Tire 9.7 See all reviews Check Price
Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 Winter Snow Tire 9.6 See all reviews Check Price
Continental Tires Vikingcontact 7 255/45R19 Tire 9.3 See all reviews Check Price
Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 All Season Radial Tire 9.3 See all reviews Check Price
General Altimax Arctic 12 Studable-Winter Radial Tire 8.8 See all reviews Check Price
Nokian WR G4 All-Season Radial Tire 8.4 See all reviews Check Price
Hankook Winter icept iZ2 (W616) All-Season Radial Tire 8.1 See all reviews Check Price
Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 Winter Radial Tire 7.7 See all reviews Check Price
Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT Winter Radial Tire 7.3 See all reviews Check Price
Firestone Winterforce 2 Snow Radial Tire 6.9 See all reviews Check Price

Michelin X-Ice Xi3 Winter Radial Tire

Key Specifications

  • This 3rd generation X-Ice winter tire provides the necessary traction to safely overcome extreme winter conditions featuring Cross Z Sipes , Micro-Pumps, and FleX-Ice compound.
  • The MICHELIN X-Ice Xi3 tire provides winter performance with MICHELIN MaxTouch Construction which features a unique contact patch shape - maximizing even and longer tread life.
  • The MICHELIN X-Ice Xi3 is also designed to be environmentally friendly to help reduce fuel consumption in addition to having excellent winter grip and long lasting tread life.

Michelin X-Ice 3-friction winter tires that provide the highest level of safety in the coldest period of the year. This model is suitable for all passenger cars. It features improved braking and acceleration on ice, as well as efficient fuel consumption.

Compared to the fairly successful previous model, the Michelin X-Ice 2, the third generation of the Michelin x-Ice line boasts improved braking performance on icy surfaces by 7%, increased acceleration dynamics on ice by 17%, as well as full compliance with all Michelin walking standards and more economical fuel consumption, according to internal Michelin tests.

Sawtooth edges, slats and micro-pumps are three innovative design elements used in the Michelin x-Ice 3 tread. This unique trio is responsible for the stable behavior of the tire on any winter surface and a short braking distance.

Externally, the Xi2 and Xi3 models are very similar, but unlike its predecessor, the Michelin Xi3 has an increased number of tread blocks by 15%. They are shrouded in a thick web of sharp edges, which makes it much easier to overcome snow-covered sections of the road. In addition, the optimal angular distribution of the slats helps to fully control the vehicle both in straight lines and in sharp turns.

Flex-Ice rubber compound with a high concentration of silica in tandem with proprietary technology for maintaining high speed allows Michelin x-Ice 3 tires to easily cling to the road surface at low temperatures and develop movement on winter surfaces up to a speed of 210 km/h, which corresponds to the speed index H.

Interesting enough for any economical car owner will be the information that with 50 percent wear, the performance characteristics of the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 will remain almost at the level of the new tire. This is due to the depth of cutting slats, says a technical specialist IMCarExperts.com, which best protects the tires from deterioration of the original performance characteristics.

When developing this product, the French engineers focused on ensuring the maximum level of safety on ice and in other severe winter conditions, but at the same time the indicators of driving comfort remained at the height.

In the testing of 22 sets of winter tires of dimension 205/55 R16, which was conducted by the Finnish organization Test World, Michelin Xi3 tires with 7.3 points scored took third place, losing to the leader of the subgroup of friction winter tires by only 0.2 points.

The model earned such a high rating for its confident behavior of the test car at all stages of testing (ice, snow, wet surface, dry track, etc.), one of the best indicators of longitudinal traction, as well as quick reactions to changes in the direction of movement. This model was officially recognized as one of the best non-studded tires of the Scandinavian type. If you value your safety and safety of a passenger car in the winter, then it will be difficult to find a better option than the Michelin X-Ice 3 model.

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 Winter Snow Tire

Key Specifications

  • The new Nordic non-studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 winter tire has the perfect balance of safety and comfort. It adapts to all weather variations offering relentless grip and making driving controlled, precise and enjoyable. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 is the perfect choice for drivers who value first-class safety, unique driving comfort and greener driving.
  • Maximum Winter Driving Comfort in any condition
  • Excellent Grip And Controlled Handling On Ice And Snow
  • Saves On Fuel Costs

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 – non-studded winter tires, which the Finnish manufacturer has applied an innovative proprietary technology Arctic Sense Grip, which increased the handling and reliability of the car's grip on ice in comparison with the previous generation model.

In the model range, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 friction tires replaced the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 tires, which at one time became stronger in the status of tires that help reduce fuel consumption by the vehicle, which was repeatedly confirmed by high results in various comparative tests. The manufacturer claims that the rolling resistance of the Hakkapeliitta R3 is lower than that of a number of summer tires, and compared to the second-generation model, it was reduced by 5%.

The key feature of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 is the balance between winter driving safety and comfort. Due to the excellent transverse and longitudinal coupling properties in various weather conditions of the winter period, it provides high confidence at the wheel. This is due to the use of an optimized tread pattern and a number of technologies that have been tested by time on other Nokian winter models.

The Hakkapeliitta R3 tire tread pattern is more aggressive than its predecessor, with a large number of V-shaped slots on either side of the Central stiffener and a thicker grid of slats. In combination with a frost-resistant and elastic rubber tread compound, it dampens shocks and vibrations caused by road potholes and ruts.

The main advantage of this non-studded car model is the use of an ultra-modern concept of Arctic Sense Grip, which serves as a guarantee of reliable targeting with snow roads and cleared asphalt, says a technical specialist Shina.Guide. Comfortable and precise control is the result of combining three innovations: functional slats in the Central part of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3, cryo Crystal 3 particles and adaptive blocks that respond quickly to changes in weather conditions.

Among the proven solutions, it is worth noting lamellas-pumps, which in R3 has become significantly more. They will effectively remove water and snowmelt from the contact spot, thus ensuring a stable grip on the wet road surface. Increases the braking properties and acceleration dynamics of the tire in wet conditions, a network of slats that envelops the blocks of the shoulder areas of the tread.

In addition, as in the Nokian WR SUV 3, the so-called Snow Claws were used. They work effectively on loose snow and other soft terrain, thereby increasing the grip of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3.

The tread of the model consists of two layers of rubber. The hard base provides the tire with stability of control, but the softer top helps to increase traction and wear resistance in all operating conditions. Included in the updated composition of the Hakkapeliitta R3 rubber compound, microscopic crystals (Cryo Crystal 3) work like built-in spikes. Therefore, the reliability of the model's grip on ice in both the longitudinal and transverse directions is not in doubt. The uniform distribution of these particles in the rubber mix ensures that the high coupling properties of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 are maintained as they wear out.

Continental Tires Vikingcontact 7 255/45R19 Tire

Continental VikingContact 7-directional winter tires with non-studded tread, created by German developers for use in the harsh conditions of the Nordic countries. They are characterized by reliable grip on icy and snow-covered roads, as well as stable control and braking performance on snowmelt and wet asphalt.

Continental VikingContact 7 friction tires replaced the Continental VikingContact 6 model, in comparison with which they received a number of improvements that affected stability on snow and wet surfaces. For example, the manufacturer claims that the new Viking's aquaplaning resistance has been improved by 7%, the length of the braking distance in wet conditions has been reduced by 6%, and the handling on ice and snow slush has increased by 4%. In addition, handling on snow and dry roads showed a 2% improvement, while rolling resistance decreased by 3%.

Working on the creation of the Continental Viking Contact 7, the developers refused to optimize the asymmetric tread pattern of the predecessor and gave the model a new directional design. A network of deep drainage grooves helps improve the safety of these tires on wet and snow-covered roads by rapidly dispersing snowmelt and water in the contact area.

To increase the rigidity of the soft tread, which is vital for the accuracy and speed of tire responses to steering turns, the tread blocks are connected to each other by special bridges-jumpers that improve the stability of the clutch when cornering and rebuilding.

When driving the Continental VikingContact 7 on ice and snow, 3D slats come into play. They not only increase the edge effect, but also create snow pockets that, when filled with snow, provide VikingContact 7 with additional grip resulting from the friction of snow on snow.

On ice, the sharp edges of three-dimensional slats create an effect similar to the action of anti-skid spikes, says a technical specialist IMCarExperts.com. Clinging to the top layer of ice, they increase acceleration dynamics and help reduce the length of the braking distance.

To increase the adhesion of the tire to winter coatings, German engineers have provided for the presence of two types of slats: V-shaped in the center and U-shaped in the shoulder areas. In addition to silicic acid (silica), the VikingContact 7 rubber compound contains rapeseed oil. It provides good low-temperature tread elasticity, allowing the tires to keep a tight grip on the road in all winter weather conditions.

Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 All Season Radial Tire

Key Specifications

  • Equipped with an exclusive tread design and Stabiligrip, a 3D sipe technology, this tire delivers improvement in snow acceleration and enhancement in handling on snow covered and icy roads.
  • The new formula of full silica-based rubber compound, Helio Compound, allows this tire to remain flexible in low temperatures for better winter performance.
  • Approved by the high standards of Porsche SE and is currently being tested by many other high-performance vehicle manufacturers.

Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 - asymmetric studless model (with the exception of the version for the Porsche). Designed to take into account the winter climate of the United States, it is designed for use on high-speed passenger cars.

Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 has two kinds of configuration of the tread. For the vast majority of sizes, the tyre pattern is asymmetric and not directed. Special tires for Porsche cars have a symmetrical directional tread.

The Pilot Alpin PA 4 has a number of advantages over its predecessors, the Michelin PA3 and Michelin PA2. This is a shortened braking distance on wet or snow-covered surfaces, and a powerful cross-coupling, and traction on ice surfaces, as well as a rapid start on snow.

The Michelin Pilot Alpin 4 asymmetric tread consists of blocks of various configurations, two wide circular channels and a large number of cross-sections and recesses - says the technical specialist IMCarExperts.com. it reduces the likelihood of aquaplaning and allows you to achieve the maximum level of safety even in high-speed mode.

Slats located at different angles provide traction in all directions and the necessary rigidity of the tread blocks for precise control. Improves handling, protects the sidewall from damage and increases the life span of the reinforced powerful frame.

The Helio Compound 3G technology used in the manufacture of Alpine Alpin models of the fourth generation increases the wear resistance of tires. The rubber composition of the tread based on sunflower oil and silicon dioxide maintains elasticity at temperature jumps and low thermometer readings.

In the independent testing of the TUV SUD Automotiv organization, the PA4 model has become the leader among friction tires in terms of the level of safety provided on winter surfaces. Thanks to their positive character traits, Michelin Pilot Alpin 4 tires are interesting to a wide range of motorists and have an enviable consumer demand.

General Altimax Arctic 12 Studable-Winter Radial Tire

Key Specifications

  • Winter Sipes Reduces squirm and block deformation offering exceptional grip.

General Tire Altimax Arctic 12 is a studded winter tire with a directional design designed for use on passenger vehicles at the lowest temperatures. This model is characterized by first-class grip on ice and when braking, improved stability of control in the snow and smoothness of the course, giving pleasure.

General Tire Altimax Arctic 12 tires owe their reliable coupling properties on winter surfaces primarily to special anti-skid spikes that increase the reliability of contact in both the transverse and longitudinal directions, provide a short braking distance on ice and good lateral stability.

Optimized block edges improve the ride quality of the Altimax Arctic 12 on a snow-covered surface, says technical specialist IMCarExperts.con. Straight slats in the Central part of the tread, thanks to their ability to open up, capture a lot of snow in all directions, which also improves lateral grip, traction and braking efficiency on snow. A computer-simulated sequence of spikes on the surface of the blocks provides a low level of noise that is easily tolerated by the human ear.

The off-road version of the General Altimax Arctic 12 was named Grabber Arctic. The European version of this SUV model has the same tread pattern as the Altmax Arctic 12, but its design is designed for use on vehicles with a high center of gravity.

Nokian WR G4 All-Season Radial Tire

Key Specifications


Nokian WR G4 is the fourth generation of all-season tires created specifically for the North American market, which is characterized by good grip on summer hot asphalt, resistance to the effect of aquaplaning, good behavior in the snow, as well as stability of control and rapid braking under various weather conditions.

Nokian WR G4 tires are premium eco-friendly products that use technologies patented by the Finnish manufacturer to guarantee reliable tire functionality in typical North American weather conditions.

First of all, we are talking about a technology based on the Coanda effect and aggressive feather grooves Blade Grooves, which significantly accelerate the drainage from the contact zone, increase the resistance of the tire to aquaplaning and its stability on a wet road surface.

We will also mention the Snow Claws, which are responsible for the safety of movement on winter surfaces, the three-dimensional centipede siping system that allows the tire to work effectively in all directions in the presence of snow and slush on the roads, and the slats located transversely to the direction of movement (Functional Performance Siping), which enhance the grip of the tires and the sensitivity of the steering wheel.

The Nokian WRG4 all-weather rubber compound provides extra grip and extends the life of the tread. The use of a special rubber compound between the side walls and the tread of the model (Silent Sidewall technology) prevents the transmission of noise and vibrations to the rim and to the interior of the car, which makes spending time behind the wheel more comfortable and enjoyable.

In the model range, the Nokian WR G4 tires replaced the all-season WR G3 tires, which are familiar to Europeans as winter tires designed for use on passenger cars in mild weather conditions. Moreover, it is also worth noting that the tread pattern of the WR G4 tires is borrowed from the Nokian WR A4 model, the technical specialist notes IMCarExperts.com, which is available in the markets of Central Europe as winter friction tires.

At the same time, it is not superfluous to clarify that the predecessor model of the Nokian WR G4 was produced in two versions of the tread pattern, which it inherited from the Nokian WR A3 (asymmetric) and Nokian WR D3 (symmetrical directional) tires. Whether the same fate will befall the all-weather model of the fourth generation is still unknown, as well as whether its modification will appear for cars with a high center of gravity called the Nokian WR G4 SUV (similar to the Nokian WR G3 SUV). The latter is probably just a matter of time.

According to the tire manufacturer, Nokian WR G4 tires were tested both at the Nokian test site in Finland and on test tracks in Germany and Spain, and tread wear tests were performed in the United States.

Hankook Winter icept iZ2 (W616) All-Season Radial Tire

Key Specifications

  • 3D sipes for better grip and minimal block movement
  • Silica compound for high wet and snow grip
  • Enhanced sidewall stiffness for durable and reliable performance

Hankook Winter i*Cept iZ2 W616 is a winter friction tire for comfortable driving, designed for use on passenger cars. It is characterized by excellent coupling properties on wet asphalt, as well as snow-covered and icy roads, excellent course stability and maneuverability, stable easy handling. Provides driving comfort and a short braking distance on winter surfaces.

The Hankook W616 Winter i*Cept iz 27 replaced the Winter I*Cept iz tires. The main difference between the second-generation tires is the directional tread pattern. This choice is not accidental. Aggressive unidirectional tread design quickly and efficiently clears the contact spot of the tire with the roadbed from snowmelt and water, and therefore provides a more reliable contact with the winter road.

By reducing the size of the tread blocks, Korean developers were able to increase their total number by 20%. As a result, the number of three-dimensional slats that reduce the mobility of tread blocks in any road conditions and working edges that cut water microfilm has increased, which has a positive effect on the coupling and braking properties of Hankook Winter i*Cept iZ2 W616 on snow and ice.

The composition of the Hankook W616 rubber compound includes silica, says a technical specialist IMCarExperts.com, which allows you to maintain the elasticity of the tread in very cold weather. This means that the tires of this model, even in the most severe frosts, will provide reliable handling and a high degree of safety on snow-covered and icy roads. Also, silica provides additional grip on wet asphalt.

Our tire expert visited the presentation of the model that the Korean company Hankook conducted at The testworld indoor test site located above the Arctic circle in the North of Finland. After driving a Volkswagen Golf equipped with Winter i*Cept iZ 2 tires, he noted the confident behavior of the car on a snow-covered surface, where the tires accurately and accurately responded to steering turns and their behavior was easily predictable. I especially liked the clear handling of the vehicle in the slides.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 Winter Radial Tire

Key Specifications

  • Mighty Molecules A New Hydrophilic Coating Reacts To The Elements For Confident Stopping Power On Snow And Ice. Advanced Multicell Compount® With Nano Pro-Tech® Works At A Molecular Level To Remain Pliable In Cold.
  • Optimized Construction New Cavity Shape Distributes Contact Pressure Uniformly Across The Entire Footprint Area For Even Wear And Dry, Ice And Snow Performance.
  • Serious Tread Bite Particles Act Like Microscopic Studs Providing Confident Road Grip And Braking On Ice. 3D Zigzag Sipes Create Biting Edges Without Sacrificing Block Stiffness. Increased Block Edges By 2% (Compared To Ws7) For Better Handling On Snow And Slush.
  • MIGHTY MOLECULES - A new Hydrophilic Coating reacts to the elements for confident stopping power on snow and ice Advanced Multicellular Compound with Nano Pro-Tech works at a molecular level to remain pliable in cold
  • OPTIMIZED CONSTRUCTION - New Cavity Shape distributes contact pressure uniformly across the entire footprint area for even wear and dry, ice and snow performance

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 is a winter tire for compact cars, coupes, sedans and minivans. It is characterized by good grip and handling, as well as excellent braking abilities both on asphalt and on slippery icy and snow-covered roads, smooth running and high acoustic comfort.

The Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 was created to provide peace of mind on winter roads. Its predecessor, the Bridgestone WS-70 tire, which has become a bestseller over the years, also served these noble goals, but now it is no longer comparable to the younger generation in terms of performance.

The main differences between the Blizzak WS-80 are the optimized composition of the rubber compound and improved handling and traction. Bridgestone WS-80 uses a number of innovative technologies, including a new generation of multicell proprietary compound that can absorb water. The porous rubber compound has become much better at absorbing water, as the manufacturer has improved its know-how by covering the surface of the WS80 with a special hydrophilic film.

As the technical specialist notes IMCarExperts.com, the moisture-loving coating literally sucks water out of the contact spot, thus preventing wheels from slipping on ice, Packed snow and wet asphalt.

NanoProTech technology that has found application at the molecular level controls the compatibility of the filler, polymer and other components at the molecular level, which allows the rubber mixture to remain elastic and not lose its performance properties even in severe frost.

In addition, the rubber compound contains special solid microparticles that perform the functions of microscopic spikes. They increase grip on slippery roads and improve braking on ice. The optimized tread pattern with deep grooves ensures an even distribution of pressure in the contact spot, which determines the uniform wear of the Blizzak WS 80 and its high service life.

Thanks to multidirectional zig-zag lamellas scattered over fairly large tread blocks, the number of cutting edges increases (compared to the Blizzak WS-70, this figure has increased by 20%). They increase the stability of vehicle control on winter roads and reduce the braking distance as much as possible. The difference in traction on snow between generations is 10%, of course in favor of the WS80.

At the moment, Blizzak WS80 is the most advanced offer for winter operating conditions from Bridgestone. This non-studded model meets the most stringent requirements for winter tires, as evidenced by the winter icon (a snowflake on the background of a three-peak mountain) on the side of the tire.

Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT Winter Radial Tire

Key Specifications

  • Goodyear
  • 780562350

The Goodyear UltraGrip Ice WRT is a directional winter studded tire designed to increase the traction of passenger cars, pickups, full-size vans, and SUVs in difficult winter road conditions.

In the production of Goodyear UltraGrip Ice WRT tires, the proprietary Winter Reactive technology is used, which, due to a number of features, allows this winter model to have excellent traction and braking characteristics in a variety of weather conditions.

The directional design of the Goodyear UG Ice WRT tread with wide drainage channels increases the grip and traction of the tire on wet asphalt, says the technical specialist IMCarExperts.com. Transverse two-dimensional slats in the Central part of the tread form numerous cutting edges necessary to strengthen contact with snow-covered and icy roadbed.

Three-dimensional self-locking shoulder slats, created using TredLock technology, close when cornering, resulting in excellent maneuverability of the vehicle and the driver's confidence at the wheel.

To enhance the appeal of this model, the improved rubber tread composition, optimized for working in winter conditions, the ability to install spikes, as well as rim protection, limiting accidental damage to disks, are designed.

It is also worth paying attention to the fact that the manufacturer has provided two tread patterns for this model: non-studded with an arrow-like Central rib (for passenger cars and vehicles with a 4WD) and studded with a zigzag Central stiffener (for light trucks).

The only publication that tested Goodyear UltraGrip Ice WRT tires for several years was the canadian "La Presse". It all started with the 2011 test, in which the expert group of Sheena Goodyear took the sixth (out of eleven) final place. At the same time, it is very critical "ride" on the characteristics of the model: a relatively low cross-coupling and average noise level. And the Winter Reactive technology needs to be improved. At the same time, the high running capacity of the model was noted and the tread pattern was quite effective on winter routes.

Comparative tests in 2012 ended for Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT in the amount of 205/55 R16 seventh (out of 15) position rating with similar comments from testers: average noise, high wear resistance, but not stable enough cross-coupling.

In the 2013 test, the Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT model finished sixth, says a technical specialist IMCarExperts.com. In total, ten sets of studded and friction tires in the dimension 225/65 R17 competed. The final summary of the experts did not Shine with diversity: relatively weak lateral stability on snow-covered roads, above-average noise level, and the duration of operation. However, the tire shows surprisingly good results on ice.

Unchanged positions in the middle of the final rating did not overshadow Goodyear UltraGrip Ice WRT's success in the 2019 test. The tenth of the eighteen is the latest achievement of the model in the size of 265/70 R17 at the moment. Again, the praises of the tire's high service life and its ability on ice, a couple of barbs in the direction of average maneuverability on snow. In general, nothing new.

Firestone Winterforce 2 Snow Radial Tire

Key Specifications

  • Built to Keep You Working Through the Winter
  • Winter Performance and Grip You Can Rely On
  • Long-Lasting Performance
  • Great Value
  • Fit type: Vehicle Specific

Firestone Winterforce 2-studded winter tires with a directional tread pattern, designed for daily safe operation on crossovers, SUVs and light trucks. A model that is characterized by confident traction on winter surfaces, driving comfort, and fast braking on snow and slush.

As you might guess, Firestone Winterforce 2 tires are an improved version of the popular Firestone Winterforce car tires, from which they differ not only in improved performance, but also in a wider market coverage of SUV and CUV cars, as well as pickups (+14%).

The pattern of the second-generation tires has undergone significant changes, although it has retained the traditional orientation for winter tires, which helps to increase the speed of clearing the contact spot from snowmelt, slush and water.

The high density of lamellating independent tread blocks improves grip on loose snow, says a technical specialist IMCarExperts.com. if anti-skid spikes are used, the safety of driving on Packed snow and ice is increased. The internal structure of the Winterforce 2 includes a double steel bracket that improves ride quality and tire endurance.

Car Winter Tires Buyer’s Guide

Winter tires are different from summer tires, and it’s not just about the tread pattern. Manufacturers select the chemical composition for a certain temperature range, so when you go beyond it, tires lose their properties. At lower temperatures, summer tires become less elastic and can no longer provide proper traction with the road surface, minimum braking distance, and other inherent characteristics.

Contrary to popular belief, all-season tires are not designed for real winter. They are designed for moderate weather conditions and high-quality road surface, which is usually dry and only occasionally becomes wet. In a good way, they can only be used in the off-season as an addition to winter and summer tires.

This is why it is necessary to change the tires depending on the season. As a rule, it is recommended to change the car into winter tires if the air temperature does not rise above 5-7 °C during the week. As with summer tires, you need to choose winter tires based on several important criteria and nuances. Let’s try to understand them together.

What type of winter tires to choose

There are two main types of tires: studded and friction.

1. Studded tires. Thanks to metal anti-skid spikes, these tires provide better grip and effective braking. They are designed for driving on hard dry ice and are used in countries with severe winters. Because of its specificity, this type of tire is quite noisy. When driving on dry asphalt, they lose their advantages and are quickly erased. In some European countries, studded tires are prohibited.

These tires are suitable for everyone who spends a lot of time in the country and lives in regions where there is ice. Residents of megacities with roads that are regularly sprinkled with reagents do not need studded tires.

2. Friction (or non-studded) winter tires provide more freedom in deciding when to change tires, both in the fall and spring. One of the advantages of friction tires is quiet operation. They roll on the road surface more smoothly and quietly than studded tires. However, this does not mean that friction tires are recommended for use all year round. They are primarily intended for use on winter roads. In warmer weather, non-studded winter tyres wear out quickly and because the rubber compound becomes softer, and the characteristics deteriorate.

When used properly, non-studded winter tyres increase driving safety in volatile environments, for example, when significant temperature fluctuations. With this in mind, it is best to install friction tires before the road becomes slippery, and ride them until the winter is completely over. The properties of friction tires are based on the principle of action of slats located at a steep angle, which open during acceleration or braking. In many European countries, the use of studded tires is prohibited, and as a result, for drivers from these countries, friction tires remain the only available option for winter tires.

How to choose a tire size

When choosing the size of tires, you should put aside all the myths and advice of neighbors who paint the advantages of a low profile or an increased diameter. Do not deviate from the recommendations of the car manufacturer: he has already calculated everything, found the best option and indicated it in the operating manual. If you want to save money, get a second set of wheels for winter tires with a smaller landing diameter. The purchase of such rubber will be cheaper.

How to check the tire manufacturing date

Before buying, it is necessary to check when the tires were made. The fact is that manufacturers guarantee that the properties of the tire remain unchanged for two years of storage. If the tires are in stock for longer, the tires lose their quality and the tires will not be able to fully provide traction and effective braking.

It is quite simple to find out the date of manufacture and understand whether it is worth taking a favorite set of tires. Manufacturers indicate it on the side of the tire using a four-digit code. The first two represent the week, and the second-the year of release. For example, 5019 is the 50th week or mid-December 2019.

What else to consider when choosing winter tires

  • Refuse to buy used tires. over time, the rubber loses its properties, which, together with the existing wear and tear, can bring all the savings to naught.
  • In any case, do not buy tires only on the driving axle of the car. The risk of skidding increases due to uneven traction between the wheels of different axles.
  • To extend the service life of tires, it is recommended to move them from the front axle to the rear and Vice versa every 5,000 miles.
  • If you are using a set of tires for more than a year, install the best pair on the rear axle of the car to eliminate the possibility of skidding.
  • Buy a second set of wheels specifically for winter tires to change shoes yourself and not waste time in the queue for tire service.

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