This section offers advice from Pirelli technicians as to how to get the best from your winter tyres, 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 tyres
For optimum performance and safety, it is essential that all four tyres are the same. Always use four winter tyres of the same brand, and with the same construction features. Fit tyres of the same size on the same axle, with the same characteristics of use, tread pattern and conditions of wear. The use of studded tyres, where permitted, must be extended to all four wheels. Consult the vehicle's handbook for the correct load capacity and speed rating of the tyres to be used.
Check tyre pressures regularly
Inflation pressures must be checked regularly and carried out when the tyres are cold. If necessary correct the pressure again, when the tyre 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 tyre sidewall. Optionally, the car may be equipped with tyres 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 tyres 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 tyres down to the main tread minimum legal limit, set at 1.6 mm.
Store them carefully
When winter tyres 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 tyres in the right direction every 10,000/12,000 km.