Guide: why it’s so important to put winter tires on your car now

Why it’s so important to put winter tires on your car now

A minimum tread depth of four millimeters is recommended

When it gets colder, experts say winter tires should be fitted to the car – until easter. Why it is so important to change your tires in good time.

When do I have to put on winter tires??

There is no specific time period prescribed in the road traffic regulations (stvo). Winter tires are only compulsory in poor road conditions, such as snow, ice and slippery roads. the german automobile club (ADAC) recommends that drivers fit winter tires according to the so-called O-to-O rule: according to this rule, winter tires should remain on the car from october until the weekend after easter. If the tread depth is less than four millimeters, the tires should be taken out of service.

Why are winter tires so important?

Even at temperatures below seven degrees, drivers can brake better and drive more confidently with winter tires. Hardened summer tires no longer grip the road optimally. Winter tires are made of a softer rubber compound with additional grooves that prevent snow and slush from sticking to them at lower temperatures. They are therefore called mud and snow tires (M+S tires). All-season tires also have this symbol on their sidewalls. As a rule, tires should have a tread depth of at least four millimeters. Safety systems such as ABS or ESP are no substitute for winter tires.

What should I look for when buying winter tires??

Guide: why it's so important to put winter tires on your car now

It’s time for winter tires

The final step is done by hand: a mechanic tightens the wheel bolts after changing the tires

High time for winter tires

Tunahan Yildirim is currently very busy at the Auto Ohnheiser workshop in Wertingen. Many customers want to drive safely on the roads with winter tires in the coming cold months

The golden rule: "from O to O"

If you leave winter tires on your car for too long, you risk increased fuel consumption and wear in warm weather. However, the ADAC warns against changing tires too early

Don’t change car tires too soon

Tires should not be more than two years old. The year of production is indicated by the last digits of the so-called DOT number on the side of the tire. Experts advise against cheap offers. Stiftung warentest and ADAC test winter tires every year. In the last study, only five of the 35 winter tires tested were rated "good" from.

What fines do drivers have to expect in winter with summer tires??

If the police catch a driver with summer tires, 60 euros will be due. On top of that comes a point in flensburg. Drivers who drive with summer tires and obstruct others – for example by breaking down in traffic – can expect to pay 80 euros and have a point added to their traffic offence record.

Do drivers still have insurance cover in winter with summer tires??

As a rule yes. According to the german insurance association, liability coverage for drivers with summer tires remains valid in any case if they cause an accident in winter. That is, the insurance company pays the accident victim the damages. However, the situation may be different for fully comprehensive cover, which is intended to cover damage to your own car. If it can be proven that the driver was negligent in driving with summer tires, the insurance company can reduce the payment.

What is the best way to store summer tires?

Summer tires should be stored in winter in a dry, dark and not too warm place – i.e. not in the boiler room. The optimal solution is to stack the summer tires on top of each other on the rims on a pallet and cover them up. You can also hang the tires on the rim hole to avoid pressure marks. Tires without rims, on the other hand, stand better and should be rotated a little every four weeks or so to avoid dents. In any case, car owners should write the position of the tire on the car with chalk before removing it. this makes it easier to mount the tire in the spring.

Are all-season tires an alternative to the hassle of changing tires??

The ADAC tested four models – and the results are sobering: two models received the grade "adequate and two were rated "unsatisfactory rates. "All-season tires can only offer a compromise – this is also reflected in the result", the conclusion of the testers. "So if you want to be on the safe side, you should go for the specialized summer and winter tires". The results of the all-season tires would show that this type of tire ultimately cannot compete with either summer or winter tires: "the intended compromise is therefore not found in these tires. With all these tires, significant disadvantages must be accepted in individual properties." afp, AZ

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