What are Winter Tires? Should We Put It On Our Vehicles?
While the winter conditions were evident throughout the country, snow roads kept in many parts of the country and in certain parts of the intercity roads. Erkal Özuzun, the Marketing Manager of PETLAS, Turkey’s local tire company, answered the eight questions most frequently asked about the recommended winter tires in order to stay on the road safely and reach your loved ones in these seasons and conditions.
Experts state that the effect of snowfall and low air temperatures will increase in many parts of the country. Compliance with the rules, vehicle preparation and the use of winter tires are of great importance in order to maintain a healthy and safe transportation in these road conditions. Questions that every driver wonders about how to choose the right tires and when to use them, the importance of winter tires for safe driving and usage conditions. Important points that will guide consumers to make a safe journey with winter tires in 8 questions :
1. Do I need winter tires?
It is recommended to use winter tires when traveling at temperatures below 7°C, in sleet, snowy and icy regions and on intercity roads with heavy rainfall. On the other hand, in our country, in provinces where winter tires are mandatory, the use of winter tire certified tires in commercial vehicles between December 1 and March 31 is a legal obligation subject to sanctions.
2. If my tires have an ‘M+S’ mark on their sidewalls, can I use them on snow?
Some all-season tires are marked “M+S” (mud and snow). They have larger tread blocks and wider clearances for better handling. However, only tires bearing the M+S mark are not sufficient for optimum grip and safe driving in snowy road conditions. In these road conditions and where the air temperature is below 7 degrees, tires made of the appropriate compound and bearing the winter tire mark are the right choice. These types of tires have been tested and certified to perform in winter.
3. If I have all-season tires, are snow tires necessary?
The answer to this question depends on the climate in your area. All-season tires work well in dry, temperate climates where the seasons don’t change much. However, only winter tires provide safe handling, safe traction, control and braking in winter conditions. In areas with winter weather, you will need tires marked with 3-Peak Snowflake (3PMSF-Three Peak Mountain Snowflake).
Unlike summer or all-season tires, winter tires are “water-loving” tires. Its rubbers are sensitive to snow and water, are more flexible, stay softer at temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius and provide more traction on snow. Winter tires provide better traction than all-season tires, thanks to tread blocks with more kerf.
4. Is it sufficient to use winter tires only on the drive axles of my vehicle?
Although most vehicle users think that winter tires work during traction, it should be taken into account that these tires are also used during braking. During braking, 4 tires participate in braking at once, depending on the load distribution of the vehicle, and axles without winter tires cannot hold onto the road and continue to slide. In order not to lose control on the road, it is recommended to use winter tires on all of your vehicles instead of just the drive axle.
5. Does it make sense to buy used winter tires?
Before buying used winter tires, do four things: make sure the size fits your vehicle, measure the tread depth, check for uneven wear, and most importantly, have it thoroughly inspected for damage. However, even if you check the tread depth, size and undamage, keep in mind the possibility of inner layer damage that you cannot see in used tires.
6. Can I use chains instead of winter tires?
Snow chains can be useful for traction on icy roads or mountainous terrain, but are useless on bare roads or asphalt. On the contrary, it reduces road holding on snowless asphalt. For this reason, chains are not a substitute for winter tires. The chain is an option that can only be considered when driving in heavy snow.
7. Do I need studded tires?
Studded winter tires provide the best traction on heavy snow and icy roads. The size options for this type of tires are limited and there is no need to use such tires in many regions of our country. It should also be taken into account that it will reduce road grip and braking ability on snowless roads and dry asphalt. Considering the cost and advantage conditions, it is recommended to prefer winter tires instead of studded tires for the conditions of our country.
8. Should I store a winter tire with its rims?
You can decide how long you will use your winter tires and under what conditions you store them without rims. Storing winter tires with rims and inflated is more efficient in terms of life. Also, considering that tires are subject to reassembly and reassembly twice a year, you should make a decision by calculating the possibility of extra wear and tear of the tires during each removal and installation.