FAQ

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Choosing the Right Tire

What size tire fits my car?

The original equipment tire size is usually listed on a sticker on the door jamb, inside the gas panel, glove box, or in the user guide. The ideal scenario is to replace your tires with the exact size that came as original equipment. If this is not possible, your vehicle manufacturer can help you find an alternative.

I don't see my size offered. Will you add it?

Our latest tire sizing is shown online. Unfortunately, if your size is not showing, it is not currently available. Decisions to make a size are based on sales volume potential. If we see a new size growing in popularity we will add it to our product offering, but it can take several months before actual product is available in North America.

Where can I find testing data about Nokian tires?

Both independent testing organizations and product testing magazines routinely test our tires. The results are typically available online or in their magazine issues.

I am interested in purchasing winter tires. How do I choose between the different models?

Though we do offer a well-balanced selection of summer, winter, all-season, and all-weather products, we have the most experience in manufacturing winter tires. In 1934, Nokian invented the first winter tire, the Hakkapeliitta, and have produced state-of-the-art winter tires ever since. No company has as many winter tire specific patents and innovations as Nokian. Our product line covers the most applications and different intended uses.

If you live in severe winter areas, a studded tire has the best traction on snow and ice. Studs are mechanical and offer the best winter grip possible. Though it is commonly known that most studded tires are harmful to the road surface, Nokian studded tires are different. Our studded tires come equipped with the patented Eco Stud System consisting of air shock absorbers that cushion the stud and dampen the noise, and a “Bear Claw” design that tightens the tread rubber against the stud, holding the stud as perpendicular to the surface as possible, improving grip and increasing the stud’s service life. Nokian’s winter tire lines also offer shaped studs, developed in 2009, which provides greater surface area than conventional studs, and thus better grip on slick surfaces.

Nokian also offers unstudded winter tires for those who are still hesitant about studded tires or for consumers who live in areas where studded tires are restricted. Through a combination of tread compounds, siping, and the infusion of Hakka Ice Grip particles, Nokian’s unstudded winter tires rival even some studded tires in grip on ice and snowy surfaces.

If you prefer to use one set of tires all year or live in an area where winter is not as severe, Nokian offers an All-Weather line of tires which may meet your needs. Our All-Weather tires carry the Severe Service Emblem (the mountain snowflake symbol), which means they meet winter performance testing requirements.

All of our studded lines are available in both passenger and SUV fitments.

What does "All Weather" tire really mean?

Nokian invented the All Weather tire category specifically for the North American market where drivers typically prefer to use one set of tires all year. Designed as a winter tire first, our All-Weather lines can be used year-round and still provides class-leading winter grip. Further, unlike other winter tires it will not be damaged if driven during the summer months.

Are the Nokian WR G2/WR G2 SUV and WR G3/WR G3 SUV Winter tires or All-Season tires?

We refer to them as All-Weather tires, not All-Season tires. Whereas All-Season tires are best suited for spring, summer, and fall and can handle some winter conditions, the WR G2/WR G2 SUV and WR G3/WR G3 SUV are true winter tires that can also be used during the rest of the year. This differs from winter-specific tires that should not be driven in the warmer months due to excessive tread wear.

What does a "Low Rolling Resistance Tire" mean?

Low rolling resistance refers to the energy needed to keep an object rolling. Think of the difference between a marble and a foam ball. If rolled on a hard surface with the same forward force, a marble is harder and will roll easier and further than the foam ball. A tire with low rolling resistance requires less energy to keep moving down the road thereby saving you money in lower fuel costs. A rolling resistance reduced by 40 percent saves 6 percent of fuel consumption and produces less CO2 emissions. Low rolling resistance tires can be achieved through tread pattern, tire compound, weight, and construction materials. Nokian does not compromise ride quality or safety in the interest of achieving low rolling resistance.

Which Nokian tires feature Low Rolling Resistance?

Nokian has been designing it into our tires for years in order to save consumers money and minimize emissions from their vehicles. All current Nokian lines - winter, summer, all-season, and all-weather - feature Low Rolling Resistance. We can confidently say that we have done more research in this area than many of our competitors and repeatedly dominate over the competition in low rolling resistance tests.

I replaced my old tires with new Low Rolling Resistance tires and my mileage got worse. What happened?

Worn out tires already have low rolling resistance. They often have less overall weight and tread grip because the tread is worn down. Although unusual, it is possible that replacing worn out tires with a new set of low rolling resistance tires could lower gas mileage; however you can be assured that you are now also driving with safer tires that have adequate grip.

Does Nokian offer Run Flat winter tires?

We do offer Run Flat tires in winter, summer, and all-weather lines. We have one of the most in depth winter tire run flat offerings which makes us a popular brand of choice for luxury car owners. The term "Run Flat" or “Flat Run” is included in the product name for the sizes that offer this feature.

What about running narrower tires (called "minus-sizing") in the winter?

Minus-sizing used to be considered an option for winter because of the lower price of smaller rims. But nowadays with the requirements for pressure monitoring sensors, it is best to use winter tires that are the same size as what originally came on your vehicle. With a narrower tire, you would see slightly better winter performance, but you will sacrifice ride and handling abilities.

General Information about Winter Tires

How will winter tires affect my vehicle handling and braking?

In general, dry handling and braking will be affected only slightly when using winter tires, and the safety gain in winter weather is significant. The biggest change a driver could see would be in a move from a UHP summer tire to a studded winter tire.

Why does Nokian talk about "winter tires" instead of "snow tires"?

We use the term "winter tires" instead of "snow tires" because they are designed to work in winter conditions, not just snow. The tire compounds are optimized to provide grip even on dry roads in weather below 40 degrees. All Season compounds get hard in colder weather thus hindering grip. Also, winter tread patterns are designed to provide excellent grip in ice and snowy conditions.

Are winter tires loud?

Non-studded winter tires are slightly louder than regular tires, but by no means offensive. Studded winter tires were once perceived as loud and damaging to the road. Through innovations in our studding technology, such as the air shock absorbers in our Eco Stud System, we have minimized the noise immensely so that there is little noise difference between a traditional winter tire. Additionally, road wear is now a non-issue.

What is the "mountain snowflake" or "Severe Service Emblem," and why do I need it on my winter tires?

All Nokian winter tires have the mountain snowflake designation. The mountain snowflake symbol was created in Canada to designate a winter tire that has passed the minimum requirements for winter traction. Anyone that drives in winter conditions should consider having tires with this symbol on them as a minimum requirement. Nokian tires routinely exceed the requirements for this symbol.

I don't get much snow so why do I need snow tires?

In general, all-season tires are optimized for performance at 40 degrees and above. If you drive a large amount of time in temperatures below this, you should seriously consider winter tires which are designed to provide grip in colder temperatures. This is why we refer to "winter tires" not "snow" tires because they provide increased safety in winter, not just snow.

I have four wheel drive or all-wheel drive so I don't need winter tires, right?

Acceleration with original equipment All-Season tires in winter conditions is relatively easy to achieve with AWD and 4WD. Driving is usually OK until there is a need to steer or stop in a hurry, and the tires do not grip. This is why you see so many SUVs and 4X4s off the road in the early season storms. Vehicles such as these benefit from winter tires just as much as FWD cars do.

I don't want to buy an extra set of tires. Can't I use mine all year?

Buying winter tires is not buying an extra set. You will need to buy another set of tires for your car someday (generally after 3 or 4 years). If you buy a set of winter tires now, you are prolonging the life of the summer tires. In essence, you are buying your replacement tires early but will now enjoy the benefit and safety of having appropriate tires for the weather conditions.

Can't I just get 2 winter tires?

No. While this used to be the conventional wisdom, this creates the hazardous condition of having one axle that has grip while the other does not. This will result in a dangerously increased chance of a spin out.

Will winter tires lower my gas mileage?

Gas mileage typically dips in the winter, and drivers generally blame winter tires. While tires may contribute, the effect in minimal; a decrease in gas mileage often has more to do with winter gas, which has special additives in it that compromise engine performance. Roof racks and ski boxes add aerodynamic drag which also affects gas mileage.

When should I put on my winter tires and when should I take them off?

This varies by region, but once temperatures consistently are at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius), any driver will benefit from the grip of winter tires. It may make sense to put them on early to avoid the rush that happens once the first snow fall hits. At the end of the season, it makes sense to remove winter tires once temperatures are consistently over 40 degrees (5 degrees Celsius). However, if the tread depth of the winter tires in the spring is below 5mm (4/32nds), you can keep them mounted and use them until they are worn down further and then replace them.

Can I drive my winter tires all year round?

We do not recommend the use of winter tires throughout the year. The rubber compounds will wear quickly on the hotter road surfaces. Modern winter tires may wear unnecessarily quickly, particularly on coarse spring roads. The wear may also be uneven due to abnormally rapid wear. However, you can use Nokian’s All-Weather tires year-round.

My car has TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring). Can I still use winter tires?

Yes. In an ideal world, drivers in winter climates would have two sets of tires on rims, one set for summer and one set for winter. This facilitates season changeovers and eliminates the need to mount and balance each season. However, on newer vehicles this requires an extra set of TPMS sensors for the other rims. This used to be cost prohibitive but now is more affordable as pricing on TPMS has come down. Check with your local dealer for pricing. The alternative is to mount and balance winter/summer tires on the factory rims each season. Another option is to buy our All Weather tires and run them year-round and still get excellent winter performance.

Studded Winter Tires

Aren't studded tires super loud and don't they damage the road?

Studded winter tires used to be loud and damaging to the road. Through innovations in our studding technology, such as the Eco Stud System and lighter stud material, we have minimized the noise immensely so that there is little noise difference between a studded winter tire and a traditional winter tire. Additionally, these developments make road wear a non-issue. If we compare studded tires of the past against modern studded tires with light metal studs we see that modern studded tires cause only 20% road wear in relation to typical studded tires of 60's and early 70's.

Where are the tires studded?

The majority of our winter tire lines are studded in our factories through a patented automated process. We use machines to ensure the proper insertion of the studs.

How are the stud holes made?

Stud pins in the curing mould imprint the stud holes in the tread or, in the case of heavy (industrial) tires, the stud holes are drilled.

If studs work loose from studded tires, is it possible to replace lost studs with new ones?

It is not possible to replace lost studs with new ones as they cannot be fixed securely to the old stud holes.

Can I add/remove studs?

Once a non-studded tire has been driven, it is not possible to add studs. Once a studded tire has been driven, it is possible to remove studs, but it is a very labor intensive, slow process as the studs must be removed by hand in a way that does not damage the tire. Once studs are removed, the tires cannot be studded again due to the dirt and debris that collects in the holes. For these reasons, we do not recommend removing studs from a studded tire.

Tire Manufacturing and Environmental Issues

What goes into the price of a tire?

Tires are complicated technical products and tire manufacturing requires massive investments in product development and production machinery. The majority of the price of the tire is because of the raw materials used and the manufacturing labor costs.

Why are Nokian tires at a premium price?

As one of the most important safety devices for your vehicle, we view tires as a key investment and strive to make ours as safe as possible. We continually develop our products and design new safety features into each evolution of the product. We operate the only company-owned winter tire testing facility 125 miles (200 km) north of the Arctic Circle in Lapland. Continual research and development and the quality of our product come with a cost, but our customers truly feel the added safety and high quality is worth the price. We often have lifelong customers that support the Nokian brand.

How environmentally friendly are Nokian brand passenger car tires?

The environmental friendliness of our products and manufacturing processes is an essential part of our operations. Our main principle is to select the least environmentally damaging raw materials available and, consequently, Nokian Tyres is the first ever tire manufacturer to receive the ISO 14001 environmental certificate. You can learn more about our eco-friendly production by clicking here.

What happens to worn out tires?

There are three major areas of use for used tires: retreading, energy, and material use. Retreaded tires are used tires equipped with new treads. Most passenger car and delivery van tires can be retreaded once and truck and bus tires between two and three times. Tire granulate can be burnt to produce energy and its energy value is equal to that of coal. Rubber granulate has hundreds of uses. The most important applications include road maintenance, noise barriers, artificial reefs, floor and wall coverings and use as isolation material on new landfill sites under construction or old ones closing down.

Tire Markings

In the tire size designation, what do 205/55 R15 or 205/60 R16 stand for?

The first three-digit number is the cross-section width in millimeters measured at the widest point when the tire is mounted on the measuring rim. The number after the slash is the aspect ratio, which is the relationship between the standing height of the tire and the cross-section width as a percentage. The "R" refers to rim size in inches.

What does the XL stand for in the size designation of a tire?

XL is the "Extra Load" load range. The tire is developed for a maximum load of four units higher than a non XL tire in the same size. This enables the tire to carry a bit of a heavier load. For speeds over 130 mph the actual load of V, W and Y rated tires is reduced accordingly. (For further information, refer to the ETRTO Standard Manual 2000, p. 8.) This type of tire is becoming increasingly popular because the number of fast cars has increased.

What information does the Nokian DSI (Driving Safety Indicator) provide for the driver?

The DSI driving safety indicator displays the remaining tread in millimeters, and tells you when you should replace your tires. It is recommended that the tire be replaced once the "4" has worn away. On some tires, DSI also includes a rain drop symbol. When this has worn away, the tires' hydroplaning capabilities are no longer optimal, indicating it is time for replacement. Once the "2" has worn away, the tires are no longer safe to drive and should be replaced as soon as possible. Also by monitoring the tread wear, you can get more mileage out of your tires by rotating the positions of the tires between the front and rear axles and even different sides of your vehicle. Frequent rotations evens out the differences in tread wear rates between the different positions on the vehicle.

Is there a manufacturing date on Nokian tires?

On all Nokian branded tires, a four digit code shows the year and week when the tire was manufactured. The manufacturing code has four digits, for example, the code "2106" means that the tire was manufactured in week number 21 of the year 2006. Our recommendation is that after six years in service, or ten years from the date of manufacture, a thorough inspection be performed.

Tire Care

My tires are wearing unevenly. What should I do?

Go to your local tire dealer and ask them about the problem. There is likely an alignment or wheel balance issue with your vehicle. If the problem is unchecked, you can cause serious damage to the tires.

My tires wear more in the middle than at the sides. Do I have incorrect inflation pressures, or why does this happen?

Traction tires normally wear more in the middle than at the sides and free-rolling tires wear more at the sides. The best way to even out the wear and to get the best possible driving results from your tires is to rotate the positions of the tires between the front and rear axles after every 5,000-6,000 miles (8,000-10,000 km).

I purchased the WR G2 but one side looks like it is mounted facing the wrong direction. Has the installer made a mistake?

No. The tires are marked to advise the installer which shoulder should be facing outward. This marking can be found in the tread groove of the center rib. The traction and performance are dependent on the compounds found in different parts of the tread more than the tread design. This tire is not directional despite an appearance that may lead you to believe otherwise.

One of my directional tires was mounted against the rolling direction and I drove it like that through the winter. Did it damage the tire?

To achieve the best possible cleaning, aquaplaning and slush properties, directional tires should be mounted in their correct rolling direction. The tire does not get damaged when it rolls against the specified rolling direction. If it has been run for less than a thousand miles, it is worth correcting. However, if it has been driven more than this, it is recommended that you do not change the rolling direction.

What tire pressure should I run in my tires? How do I know the correct inflation pressures?

You will find details of the correct inflation pressures for your car in the Owner's manual, on the tire placard on the fuel tank of your car, on the glove compartment door, on a door edge or on the side of a door. If the information cannot be found in any of these places, your auto dealer or professional tire dealers will be able to help you.

How often should I check my tire pressure?

The tire industry recommends monthly checking of tire pressure. However, a 10 degree Fahrenheit (6 degree Celsius) change in temperature can result in a 2 lb change in PSI. With the changing temperatures in fall and spring, it is important to check tire pressures more frequently.

May I use a solvent when washing my tires?

We recommend that you use a mild detergent, such as a car shampoo, on your tires. Remember to rinse tires thoroughly after washing so that solvent residue will not remain in stud holes or between sipes. Do not direct the spray of a pressure washer on the tire surface up close, as the high-pressure spray may damage the cord structure.

How long should my tires last?

This is all dependent on driving style and road conditions. Many Nokian tires have a treadwear warranty so check with your local dealer for the best application for your driving style and area. Winter tires have a softer compound for better grip in cold temperatures so you see virtually no high mileage 80K+ true winter tires. That said, Nokian strives to make our winter tires last long to minimize the impact on the environment of replacing tires.

Where can I find out about Nokian's warranty?

If I purchase my tires online, how do I handle a warranty claim?

If you need to make a warranty claim, tires must be returned to the dealer you purchased them from so you would contact the online dealer. Records of tire maintenance may be required.

Company Info

Why do you spell Tires with a "y"?

We are a European company and use the global English spelling of "Tires" which is "Tyres."

What does Hakkapeliitta mean?

Hakkapeliitta refers to the legendary warriors from Finland that fought in Europe during the Middle Ages. The term embodies our company's fighting spirit and Nordic roots. We use it to denote our flagship winter tire which is still the top performing winter tire, the Hakkapeliitta 7.

Does Nokian only make winter tires?

While we are known in North America primarily as a leading winter tire brand, we also have an in-depth line of summer tires that routinely win tests by magazines throughout Europe. Our summer line is well known and respected in Europe. We also manufacture forestry and heavy (industrial) tires for mining and harbor operations.

Does Nokian make All Season tires?

Recognizing that the majority of North Americans drive on All-Season tires, Nokian developed the eNTYRE specifically to meet the needs of these drivers. The eNTYRE incorporates many of the great tire features and technologies that we have developed for our other products.

How come I have never heard of Nokian tires?

Nokian is recognized as a technological leader in the tire business, especially in winter tires where we hold more patents than any other manufacturer. Our brand dominates Scandinavia and is highly regarded in countries throughout Europe. Nokian Tyres has been in North America for over 30 years and is focused on steady growth. We are well known in some regions (particularly the Northeast) but a relative newcomer in others. Our brand focuses on selling replacement tires so we are not original equipment on any car or SUV.

How long has Nokian been making tires?

We have been in the rubber business for over 100 years and we made our first winter tire in 1934.

Wasn't Nokian Tyres once called Nokia Tyres? Are the two companies related?

We were once part of the consumer electronics brand Nokia which had its start in Nokia, Finland. We were spun off from the company in 2003 and changed our name to Nokian Tyres.

Where can I find Nokian tires?

Our tires are available at fine independent tire retailers throughout North America. Use our dealer locator to find a dealer near you.

Where are Nokian tires made?

We have two manufacturing facilities, one in Nokia, Finland and one in Vsevolozhsk, Russia outside of St. Petersburg. The Russian factory was newly built, and we controlled every aspect of the project. It is literally one of the most efficient, automated, technologically advanced tire manufacturing facilities in the world.

I compete/have a cool car and want to get sponsored. What should I do?

We typically focus our marketing dollars on other efforts and do not do sponsorships. However, we do consider unique opportunities. Please send your information to our marketing department via our contact us.

How do I purchase Nokian bike tires?

Nokian Tyres used to own and produce a bike tire under the same name but we divested the brand to Suomi Tyres- a Finnish bike tires company that is devoted entirely to making high quality bike tires for any kind of riding weather and trail conditions. Please refer to their website (www.suomityres.fi) to find authorized distributors in Canada and the USA and contact information for all of your bike tire questions.