Winter tire: is it fair to change them? We asked the expert

We are getting closer to the deadly deadline of November 15, when in many parts of Italy it will be mandatory to mount winter tires or at least have snow chains (or equivalent anti-slippage) on board. In many, however, they are still convinced that it is not really necessary and that the differences between summer tires and winter tires are not so great. Will it be true? We asked the expert

Is it really mandatory and necessary to change tires with the winter tires?

One of the most frequent controversies in the car world of recent years concerns tires and their maintenance.Despite their importance, since they are the only point of contact between the asphalt and our car, still many people feel that their care is just an optional extra . It is demonstrating the still too large number of worn gums that quietly circulate on our roads, so rotten to be recognizable to the eye of the eye. Let us figure out if we talk about the ever closer term of November 15 , when by law we will have to have mounted on our winter tires or at least homologatedfor the cold season (recognizable by the sign “M S” on the shoulder next to the measurements), or alternatively having aboard the snow chains. Still many people think that replacing summer tires with winter tires is, say, ” just an excuse for the manufacturers to get us two trains instead of one “.

Obviously this is not the case, but we do not expect you to believe the word. So we decided to turn to an expertwho could explain why it is crucial to make this change when winter comes. The following are the answers given to us by Angelo Neri, Technical Manager of Yokohama Italia , one of the most important tire manufacturers in the world.

– How important is it to change winter tires from winter to winter? 
-Installing winter tires is very important because they are designed and built to give the best in critical weather conditions such as low temperature, humid, wet or snowy asphalt, in any case it will gain security. It is recommended to mount 4 winter tires for homogeneous behavior on the axles and maintain stability in curve and braking.

– Do I have to change tires even if I live in a hot region, like Sicily?
– Technically speaking, where temperatures do not drop below 7 ° C, it is advisable to keep summer tires even in winter; however, since Italy is geographically and climatically very heterogeneous, municipalities and provinces responsible for roadworthiness may decide on the use of winter tires (or non-slip aboard onboard) even in the hottest regions of the peninsula by issuing Orders that must be respected . In the road sections where winter tires are required, the measure is made known by the specific road marking “In winter tires or chains on board” in white, blue or green, respectively, if we are driving an urban, extraurban or \’motorway.

– Why winter tires guarantee more safety? 
– The winter tire ensures greater safety thanks to its tread: slightly deeper grooves and a dense lamination on the tines ensure better adhesion to the most critical road surfaces. In addition, the tread compound is specific to deal with low temperatures and keep the grip as it contains substances such as silica that can maintain elasticity when the temperature is between 7 ° C and -5 ° C (situations where a summer blend becomes rigid and gradually loses adhesion even on dry surfaces). The winter tire is the result of an excellent combination of mechanical and chemical engineering.

– How do I find out if my winter tires are out of stock and change? 
– Both for summer and winter, you must contact a professional who will first check the general condition of the carcass and tread and tread wear (minimum 1.6mm according to law). It is good to know, however, that as the tire tread wears, the tire loses gradually the efficiency of a winter and, especially below 4 mm, and when the blades are nearly or completely disappeared, it is best to install new winter tires.

– What is the correct way to keep tires in the season when you do not use them? 
– Whenever possible, the tires must be stored in a cool, dry and moderately ventilated place, preferably dark, and protected by high-intensity artificial light bulbs. They can be stored vertically in a single layer or stacked horizontally on top of each other, but in this case the height of the batteries should be limited to avoid any deformation of the tires at the bottom. When mounted on the wheels, the tires must be stored inflated.

– Is it worth changing the tires just kick the chance, a month earlier, and wait the last day (May 15) to return to the summer? 
– It is not easy to guess the right time because in the last few years we have witnessed mild autumns and springs with summer temperatures. In this case, common sense will help us to decide, bearing in mind that using winter tires at higher temperatures will result in usurpuring them faster and not at the same time enjoying proper performance. For a more appropriate decision we should also take into account the amount of road we travel on a weekly basis or if we have scheduled trips.

– Low cost tires are equivalent to those of the most renowned brands? 
– Among the many trade-marks on the market, there is a wide variety of products, including some of them quite acceptable. As a matter of fact, however, great investment in research and even the most stringent quality controls of premium homes such as Yokohama guarantee higher performances, better reliability and a remarkable level of performance and quality.

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