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Changing your tires seasonally is a very important thing for every driver to remember. Unfortunately we still do it at the last minute, when the first snow falls, or we completely ignore the issue of changing the tires. This is also due to the fact that a lot of people still do not realize how important it is.
Why fit winter tires?
To understand why it’s important to change your tires you must first understand the differences that exist between winter and summer tires. The basic difference is the material from which they are made. Or more precisely, the mixture of rubber. Both summer and winter tires are adapted to different weather conditions. The rubber from which the winter tires are made, retains its softness even at low temperatures, so it does not lose its grip on the ground, which has a direct impact on driving safety. A soft tire with the right tread disperses water and mud, which often end up on the sidewalks or roads in winter. There are tire labels which make it easier to recognize that a tyre is suitable for difficult conditions. One of them is the 3PMSF symbol, which shows a snowflake on a background of three mountain peaks.
Many people are probably asking themselves why winter tires cannot be used all year round Because they wear out much faster in the summer and lose their properties. Changing tires and adapting them to the season is not only safe and comfortable to drive, but also economical.
When is it a good idea to change winter tires?
For many people winter tires should only be changed when it snows. This is a false assumption, if only because, as mentioned earlier, winter tires disperse water much better. Not to mention the queues that await us when we go to change our tires at the last minute. Is there a temperature below which I should replace my tires? It’s a good idea to change to winter tires when the temperature falls below a few degrees.
Safety first: summer tires don’t work in winter
If you don’t change your tires and use summer tires in the winter every evasive maneuver can be dangerous. In these conditions, the driving dynamics decrease and it’s not so easy to avoid an obstacle. The tests of winter tires in such conditions are clearly in their favour and they are much safer than summer tires
In such a case it’s also much easier to have an accident. If a car brakes in front of you there’s a good chance you won’t be able to stop in time, even if you keep your distance. Braking distance on summer tires is much longer. Even the best sports car can’t do its job without the right tires
How much does it cost to replace winter tires?
Changing tires costs on average about 100 zł, although the price of the service varies and is affected by several issues. One of them is the size of the tire. Also important is the type of replacement. If we have winter tires on aluminum rims the cost will be higher and depends on the size. You should also ask if the service includes wheel balancing. It is procedure, which should be done after each exchange and it affects not only driving comfort, but also lower wear of exploitation parts of the car. So if we have winter 17 tires, we will pay about 150 PLN for balancing.
What kind of winter tires is worth choosing and what is their cost?
The price of just replacing the tires is relatively small. Worse, if we do not have last year’s tires or they are too worn to serve us another year and provide safety on the road. Then we must prepare ourselves for a larger expense. Medium class tires cost about 400 zł. Of course, it also depends on the size of the tire. Good winter tires from reputable manufacturers, is an expense of up to 1000 zł. Before buying it is worth reviewing the ranking of winter tires to see which manufacturer is recommended. Popular brands include Bridgestone and Nokian winter tires.
New or used?
For many people this expense is too great a burden on their budget and they decide to buy used tires. Others prefer to buy tires from a better manufacturer, but used rather than betting on new tires of the economy class. No wonder, since winter tires can cost as much as 200-300zł for a set. However, such a solution carries certain risks. Before buying it is worth checking whether the tires we have chosen do not have cracks, are not cut or uneven. The tires should have a tread height greater than 4 mm to ensure safety and fulfill their function. Another thing to pay attention to is the date of manufacture. We should not buy tires that are older than 5 years.
Of course, it is also worth checking whether they have the appropriate manufacturer’s markings indicating that they are winter tires. Another condition is the fitment to our car. The issues that should be consistent are: size, class and speed rating. If we take care of these issues, buying used winter tires is safe
Photo: Customer’s press material.