When you plan to drive on snow or ice is that you need proper winter tires aka snow tires. These tires are carefully designed and tested to ensure that they can perform on these very slippery surfaces in a safe and controlled manner. If they passed the tests for winter approval they will have the severe service emblem on the sidewall of the tire, which depicts a mountaintop with three peaks and a snowflake symbol. This symbol is often referred to as the 3PMSF (3 peak mountain snowflake) symbol or severe service emblem.
The whole tire nomenclature when it comes to tires can be a bit confusing. Not only that people sometimes uses snow tires and some will talk about winter tires when they are talking about the same tires. You also have all-season tires, which by the sound of it would be possible to use for any season, but these tires are not approved for winter use and should only be used during the warm seasons. Then you have all-weather tires that can be used during any season and any weather if they are approved for winter use, which they can be.
So when it comes to selecting tires for the winter, you have basically the option of all-weather tires that are winter approved or then the range of winter/snow tires. The winter/snow tires should only be used during the winter season or when there is risk that you might get snow or icy conditions. You should change from all-season tires to winter tires as the temperature approaches 45 degrees Fahrenheit as this is when the winter tires outperform all-season tires. The same thing at the end of the winter season, when the snow and ice has melted and the temperatures are above 45 and the risk for returning snow is minimal, you can change.
With changing tires between all-season and winter ones, you will have the best performance throughout the year. This is of course if you manage the changes in a timely matter. This is the best option for areas that have recurring long winters and not just sporadic snowfall during the winter season with very changing weather conditions, where the need for dedicated winter tires are not always needed. This is when the all-weather tires will be a great option as you can use them all-year round and always have the necessary safety to be able to drive regardless of weather conditions. There are also no restrictions on the use of them, like you have with studded winter tires.
When selecting any type of tires for the winter season, it is very important that you select tires that can provide the necessary safety, stability and control needed for keeping you on the roads. Under no circumstance should you try to drive using all-season tires when you have snow or ice on the ground. In these cases it is better to just leave the car behind and use alternative transportation until it is safe to drive again.
For more information regarding the best tires for winter, visit: www.nokiantires.com