This section offers advice from Pirelli technicians as to how to get the best from your winter tires, in terms of performance and safety.
When driving avoid sharp acceleration, sudden steering action or braking, to minimise loss of traction on snow or ice.
Always fit four winter tires
For optimum performance and safety, it is essential that all four tires are the same. Always use four winter tires of the same brand, and with the same construction features. Fit tires of the same size on the same axle, with the same characteristics of use, tread pattern and conditions of wear. The use of studded tires, where permitted, must be extended to all four wheels. Consult the vehicle's handbook for the correct load capacity and speed rating of the tires to be used.
Check tire pressures regularly
Inflation pressures must be checked regularly and carried out when the tires are cold. If necessary correct the pressure again, when the tire is cold. Keep to the pressures indicated by the vehicle manufacturer. Note, pressures change in relation to the external temperature: a pressure of 2.0 bar measured at +20°C decreases to 1.74 bar at -5°C and falls to 1.59 bar when the temperature is at -20°C (a change of 20%).
Check the speed limit
Pay attention to the speed limit indicated by the rating on the tire sidewall. Optionally, the car may be equipped with tires of a lower rating than that prescribed, adjusting the speed. In this case, the European regulations state that the reduction in speed must be indicated on an adhesive label placed inside the car (on the windscreen or dashboard so that it’s always visible to the driver).
Check the tread frequently
The performance of winter tires remains effective down to a tread depth of 4mm. Below this level they are no longer adequate for winter use but can be used as summer tires down to the main tread minimum legal limit, set at 1.6 mm.
Store them carefully
When winter tires are not being used, they should preferably be kept on wheel rims and inflated, and the pressures checked regularly. If stored without rims, they must be stacked on their sides no more than four per stack so that they are not deformed by the weight.
Rotate winter tires in the right direction every 10,000/12,000 km.