How to select good snow tires


If you have decided to invest into a set of snow tires, then you want to make sure that you select a set that are very good and will meet your demands on safety and performance. They also have to be good for the vehicle that you have. When you select snow tires you will need to make sure that they are officially approved for winter use, so that they have the snowflake (3PMSF) symbol or the severe service emblem on the sidewall of the tire. If they are labeled as winter tires, they should have it, but checking is always best. The M+S marking is not enough for ensuring safe driving during the winter.

The advantages of having snow tires or winter tires as they are also called, is that they can be used safely during the winter season. At the end of the winter season the tires need to be changed to a set of all season tires. The rubber compound that is used can handle the low temperatures associated with winter, but tend to get too soft during summer temperatures, which is why you should change back to all-season tires once the winter has passed. Winter tires are though superior to summer tires at low temperatures and should be used from when the temperature drops below freezing.

The tread pattern is also designed to create grip on snow and ice, while still having good grip on wet and dry roads. The tread can also push away snow from the road surface to effectively prevent slushplaning.

There are winter tires for passenger cars, electrical and hybrid cars and even SUV winter tires. It is important to select the tires that are recommended for certain vehicles so that they can handle the load and speed ratings that might apply. Not all tires are recommended for use on electrical or hybrid cars as the wear rate is higher and demand a wear resistant rubber compound.

Selection steps

Once you have selected the right model of tires that suits the type of vehicle that you have, then you should start selecting among the remaining candidates. Here you probably have to refer to certain tire tests that are done for winter tires; there are plenty of these tests performed every year.

For fuel efficiency, that is good to check as premium tires tend to have low rolling resistance and that will lead to low fuel consumption and also low tire wear so that you don’t have to replace the tires that often. If you select tires that are not fuel-efficient that means that you will spend more money on fuel while driving and you will need to replace your tires more often. This can often happen if you select a cheaper tire option instead of investing into premium winter tires. High rolling resistance also means higher wear and more frequent replacement of the tires and more CO2 emissions.