When to Change Your Tires for Winter: It Could Save Your Life

Every driver should be concerned about this issue because the timely replacement of tires can save you from getting into an accident or even save your life.

When to Change Tires for Winter Tires

Summer tires in cold temperatures “harden”, due to which the traction with the road deteriorates and the trajectory of the ride becomes unpredictable. Therefore, motorists are advised to replace the tires for winter as soon as the temperature drops below +7 °.

Some drivers do not adhere to the temperature, but to the calendar criterion of tire changing. They put on winter tires in the middle of October, regardless of the weather. This approach has advantages: you will have time to get used to the tire before frosts, and sudden snow will not catch you unaware.

Some drivers fear that winter tires wear out in warm weather, and therefore there is no need to rush with the “re-shoeing”. But most experts in automobiles believe that the wear begins only when the temperature is +20 °, which is rare in the fall.

Is it possible to get a penalty for the wrong tires?

Since the legislation does not specify the deadline for replacing the rubber for winter, there are no fines for driving with tires “out of season”. But in some cases, you can get fined for driving with the wrong tires.

  • If the tread height is less than allowed (1.6 mm for cars up to 3.5 tons, 1 mm for cars over 3.5 tons, 2 mm for buses, and 0.8 mm for motorcycles).
  • If there are cuts or bumps or other damage on the rubber.
  • Size, load index, and tire type do not correspond to the gross vehicle weight.
  • The same axle is equipped with wheels of different sizes and construction.
  • If the vehicle is equipped with a spare tire, the tires are the same size and type of tire.

When do you have to change your tires for winter driving in other countries?

If you are going to enter other countries by car, you need to know the terms for changing tires in a particular country. Otherwise, you may get a fine for improper tires.

Here is a list of dates when you need to have winter tires on your car in different countries of Europe:

  • Austria – from November 01 to April 15;
  • Czech Republic – from November 1 to April 30;
  • Slovenia – from October 15 to April 15;
  • Romania – from November 1 to March 31;
  • Germany – replacement is compulsory after the beginning of frosts;
  • Latvia – from December 01 to March 01;
  • Estonia – from December 01 to April 01;
  • Finland – from December 01 to March 01;
  • Sweden – from December 1 to March 31.
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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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