Winter transforms roads, turning opportunities into obstacles. In snowy or icy conditions, the term “all season tires” is a misnomer. If you want to have peace of mind on wintry roads, it’s vital to have winter tires or all weather tires on your vehicle. Our Tire Buying Guide can help you decide which tire type is right for the weather conditions where you drive.
How to Know if Your Tires are Rated for Winter
If you want to know whether you have winter-rated tires, look for the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol (also know as the severe service emblem) on your tires’ sidewalls or letters that indicate the tire’s rating. Tires without this notation are not recommended for winter driving.
Driving on Studded Passenger Tires (Where Legal)
Only new tires should be fitted with studs. On studded tires, only use Nokian Tyres-recommended studs. When studding, follow our studding recommendations. For maximum effectiveness, all four tires on a vehicle should be fitted with studs. If only the two rear tires are studded, your vehicle will not realize maximum efficiency in handling and braking. NEVER MOUNT STUDDED TIRES ON FRONT WHEELS ONLY.
For the first 250-to-300 miles after installing new studded tires, avoid rapid acceleration, high cornering speeds and violent braking. This will enable your studs to properly settle into their holes and function correctly for the lifetime of the tire. New studs cannot be fitted to replace lost ones, as they will not stay in the holes formed in the tire. The stud holes are formed during the vulcanization process, by means of plugs in the tire mold.
To obtain maximum tire wear, it may be necessary to rotate your tires. Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual for instructions on tire rotation. If you do not have an owner‘s manual for your vehicle, Nokian Tyres recommends rotating your tires every 4,000 to 6,000 miles (6,500 to 9,500 km).
Monthly inspection for tire wear is recommended. Your tires should be rotated at the first sign of irregular wear, even if it occurs before 4,000 miles (6,500km). This is true for all vehicles.
When rotating tires with a directional tread pattern, observe the arrows molded on the sidewall which show the direction the tire should turn. Care must be taken to maintain the proper turning direction. Determine whether rotated tires require tire inflation adjustment, as front and rear position tire pressure may vary according to the vehicle manufacturer’s specification due to the actual load on that wheel position. Some vehicles may have different sized tires mounted on the front and rear axles, and these different sized tires have rotation restrictions. Always check the vehicle owner’s manual for the proper rotation recommendations.
The new Nokian Tyres Hakkapeliitta® C4 studded tire for van and cargo vehicles masters all of the elements of winter. Available Fall 2022.
Can I Drive Non-Studded Winter Tires Year-Round?
Coarse spring roads can be particularly wearing on all tires, and non-studded winter tires are primarily designed and intended for winter use. Non-studded winter tires that have been unevenly worn by coarse spring roads are no match for good all season tires. Therefore, we do not recommend the use of non-studded winter tires as all season tires. All season tires are the safest and most economic choice for summer driving. Learn more here.