What are winter tyres?
These are tires specifically designed for safe driving in winter conditions, at a temperature below 7°C, whether there is snow on the road or not. They are easily recognizable by the special marking "M+S et/ou 3PSMSF" on the sidewall of the tyre.
The tread pattern of winter tyres is recognizable by the presence of a very large number of notches or stripes acting as claws and therefore ensuring optimum performance in winter conditions (dry, wet, snowy or icy).
It is recommended to equip your vehicle with winter tyres as soon as temperatures drop. Summer tyres provide less grip as the rubber hardens.
Here are some guidelines for prolonging the life of your winter tyres:
Winter tyres are made with a softer rubber than summer tyres and do not harden when temperatures fall below 7°C. While the stripes on winter tyres are more flexible so as to provide grip on snow, they are prone to heating on asphalt. so we advise you to avoid sudden braking, acceleration and steering.
Keep an eye on tyre pressure
Overinflating your tyres accelerates wear toward the middle of the tyre and underinflating them does so at the edges. You may elect to increase the pressure of your tyres up to 0.2 bar over the manufacturer's recommendation to counter the drop in temperatures during the winter.
Change tyres at the right time
To know when to switch from winter tyres to summer tyres and vice versa, apply this principle: normal time = winter tyres, daylight saving time = summer tyres. It is not illegal to drive on winter tyres during the summer, but we strongly advise against doing so. Their performance suffers (longer braking distance of 4 meters in the summer at 80 kph) and their wear accelerated.
Rotate front and rear tyres
In order to even out their wear, rotate the front and rear tyres at each tyre change given they are all the same size. For more even wear, we suggest you do so in an X pattern, the left rear tyre with the right front for example. Remember, it is necessary to remove the rims as winter tyres have a directional profile and therefore a direction of rotation.
Store tyres out of the sun
To extend the life of your winter tyres, proper storage is crucial. Keep them out of direct sunlight in a place that is not too dry or drafty. If they are on rims, place them flat on their side with normal pressure to avoid deforming. If they are not, store them upright in a row.
Did you know?
A decree dated October 16, 2020 makes the use of winter tyres mandatory in mountainous areas from 1 November to 31 March of the following year. The directive will go into effect on 1 November 2021 in 48 departments, including the Alps, the Massif Central, the Jura, the Vosges, the Pyrenees and Corsica.