Switching from summer to winter tires is a challenge for many drivers every year.
When is the best time to change tires? What factors go into the decision? And how does wheel choice affect winter driving?
This blog post will help you answer these questions and give you some tips on how to avoid “tire roulette.”
WHY IS CHANGING TIRES IMPORTANT?
Changing tires is critical to the safety and comfort of your vehicle. Summer and winter tires have different characteristics, designed for different weather and road conditions.
Summer tires have a harder rubber compound that does not become too soft in high temperatures and has a lower rolling resistance.
Winter tires have a softer rubber compound that does not become too hard at low temperatures and have more sipes that provide more grip on snow and ice.
Using the wrong tires for the season can cause the following problems:
WHEN SHOULD YOU REPLACE YOUR TIRES?
There is no clear rule on when to change tires. In Germany, the law states that in winter conditions (black ice, snow, slush, ice, or frost) you may only drive with winter or all-season tires.
Failure to comply can result in a 60 Euro fine and one point on your driving record. In the event of an accident, the insurance company may even refuse to pay.
In addition to following the law, most experts recommend following the O-to-O rule. It stands for “from October to Easter,” meaning that you should drive on winter tires “from October to Easter.”
This rule assumes that temperatures during this period are usually below 7 degrees Celsius, which is considered the limit for using summer tires. However, this rule may vary depending on the region and weather conditions. Always check the weather forecast and schedule your tire change well in advance.
WHAT ABOUT RIMS?
The rims are not only an optical element of the vehicle, but also have an influence on the driving behaviour in winter. Rims are made of different materials, such as steel, aluminium, or carbon. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of weight, stability, corrosion protection and price.
Steel rims are often cheaper, heavier and more durable than aluminium rims. They offer good protection against road salt and stone chips, but are less visually appealing. Aluminium wheels are typically more expensive, lighter and more stylish than steel wheels. They offer better acceleration, braking and steering, but are more susceptible to corrosion and damage. Carbon rims are expensive, very light, and strong. They offer optimal performance, but are only suitable for a few vehicles.
Your choice of wheel depends on your personal preferences and budget. However, you should make sure that the rims are winterized and have the correct size and offset. You should also clean and maintain the rims regularly to protect them from road salt and dirt.
Changing tires is an important measure to ensure the safety and comfort of the vehicle. You should not only respect the law, but also adapt to the weather conditions. The O-to-O rule can be used as a guide, but you should always check the current weather forecast.
Your choice of rims will depend on your personal preferences and budget, but you should make sure they are suitable for winter use. By following these tips, you can avoid tire roulette and ride safely through the winter.