- When do I have to switch from summer to winter tires and vice versa?
- Why are winter tires so important?
- Are winter tires compulsory in Germany?
- Don’t even change winter tires: Can I drive winter tires all year round?
- Are all-season tires worthwhile as an alternative to summer and winter tires?
- All-weather and all-season tires are worthwhile for these drivers
- What costs will I incur when changing winter tires?
- Where is the best place to store my tires after changing them?
When do I have to switch from summer to winter tires and vice versa?
Every driver has certainly heard of the rule of thumb “From O to O”. Of According to the vernacular, winter tires should be fitted between October and Easter vice versa from Easter to October the summer tyres. While this rule is a good mnemonic, it is not legally binding. Nevertheless, most car owners follow it, especially in order to change winter tires by Easter at the latest.
Why is it “O to O” when changing winter tires?
The mnemonic “From O to O” is based, among other things, on the fact that at these times (Easter and October) the weather changes. In October, the first snow can already fall, icy roads and the first slippery surfaces and at night temperatures can often reach around freezing point. The cold months are over by Easter at the latest, so drivers can change their winter tires to summer tires without hesitation.
Alternative for changing tires: the seven-degree rule
If you don’t want to change your tires according to the “From O to O” rule, you can alternatively apply the seven-degree rule. she depends on the outside temperature. If it constantly falls below seven degrees Celsius, it’s time to fit the winter tires. Conversely, you can put on the summer tires as soon as it is constantly seven degrees outside.
Why are winter tires so important?
Winter tires differ from their summer counterparts primarily in their characteristics rubber compound and tread depth. At low temperatures, a car with winter tires comes to a standstill much faster when braking and generally drives more confidently. If you drive with summer tires in winter, even at low plus temperatures, you have less grip on the road. This creates a significantly higher risk z. B. not standing fast enough in the event of an emergency brake. Among other things, this has to do with the factors rubber compound and tread depth:
the Rubber compound for winter tires is significantly softer and has additional grooves fitted. They prevent surface covering such as snow or mud from getting stuck in the tires and thus prevent rapid braking. It is not for nothing that drivers will find the symbol for M+S tires (mud and snow) on the side surfaces of winter tires.
Tires in general should always have a minimum tread depth of about 1.6 mm. Should it be less, this would be criticized during the main inspection, for example, and a complete replacement of the wheels would be necessary. at The ADAC recommends a tread depth of at least four millimeters for winter tyres, with summer tires it should be at least three millimeters. If the tread depth is lower on both tire types, drivers should start looking for new tires.
Are winter tires compulsory in Germany?
Even if it is very dangerous, drivers can use their summer tires all year round, so also in winter. The current road traffic regulations (StVO) see this country currently no winter tires required so that there is no fixed point in time when a tire change must be carried out. Nevertheless, there is a situational winter tire obligation. This means that you cannot drive the car with summer tires in certain wintry road conditions. These include, for example, black ice, slush, snow, ice or frost.
What happens if I’m caught on snow and ice without winter tires?
In Germany there is no general obligation to put on winter tires, but certain weather conditions require that the tires be adapted to the weather conditions. If this does not happen, there is even a risk of a fine.
If drivers violate the situational obligation to have winter tires, it costs them between 60 and 120 euros if they are involved in an accident. There is also a point in Flensburg. In the event of an accident, those involved can also be sure that the insurance company will not pay without hesitation if they were driving with summer tires in wintry conditions.
Does my insurance cover apply if I am caught with summer tires in winter?
In principle, it depends on the insurance company to what extent they react in the event of an accident caused by summer tires in winter. As a rule, however, it is the case that the protection provided by the Liability insurance for drivers also remains in place if they cause an accident in winter, which is due to a lack of tires. The liability insurance pays the damage to the accident victim.
The situation is different with full and partial comprehensive insurance. These cover damage to your own car and are somewhat stricter than liability. If experts from the comprehensive insurance company can prove that the driver was negligent when driving with summer tires, the insurance company can reduce or even refuse to cover the damage.
Don’t even change winter tires: Can I drive winter tires all year round?
In theory, it is possible to use winter tires all year round. However, there are some limitations here:
Winter tires unfold below seven degrees not their optimal performance. The conditions on the asphalt are different than in cold temperatures, which summer tires with their harder rubber compound can cope with much better.
Due to the usually lower profile depth Summer tires grip better in warmer temperatures and the braking distance at high speeds is shorter.
Overall, it is safer to drive with winter tires in the summer than vice versa. However, there is also an increased risk of accidents here, which is why Drivers should definitely change their winter tires should.
Are all-season tires worthwhile as an alternative to summer and winter tires?
If you want to save yourself the tire change, all-season tires have now become a good alternative. When making your selection, however, make sure that these are marked according to regulations. In the event of an inspection, you can provide the relevant evidence.
The Alpine symbol (mountain with snowflake) must be visible on all-season tires. If only the M+S symbol is visible, which can also be found on winter tires, these tires may only be driven all year round until September 30, 2024. But only if they were manufactured before January 1, 2018.
All-weather and all-season tires are worthwhile for these drivers
Although tires that are mounted all year round are very practical at first glance, Besides the advantages, there are also some disadvantages.
Derived from these advantages and disadvantages, all-season tires are particularly relevant for drivers who…
- Rarely drive
- Especially in urban areas are traveling
- Only drive a small car with low power
- In bad weather conditions you can also do without the car
What costs will I incur when changing winter tires?
If you can’t change your winter tires yourself or don’t have the time, you can have your wheels changed in a workshop. Depending on the workshop, car owners can come along Costs from around 20 to 40 euros calculate for changing all four wheels. The practical thing about the workshop service: You can optionally have the wheels balanced here. This is especially necessary if the tires are wearing unevenly, which you will notice, among other things, from a vibration in the steering wheel while driving. There are additional costs of around three to ten euros per tire – but this service is not mandatory.
Where is the best place to store my tires after changing them?
Especially summer tires should be used in winter stored as dry and not too warm as possible will. We recommend storage in the basement or garage. If you don’t have a shelf, rim tree, or hanger, stack the summer tires on top of each other on the rims and then cover them. In this case, however, the tires should not have direct contact with the ground due to a lack of ventilation, but should lie on a pallet or something similar.
Alternatively there is one Storage at the car workshop possible. Around 20 to 30 euros are estimated for storing the tires until the next change.
If you do not have all-season tires, you should definitely change from summer to winter tires and vice versa regularly. When exactly the tire change takes place depends primarily on the weather conditions. Drivers should keep an eye on night-time temperatures in autumn (around October) and spring (around Easter). As soon as the seven-degree mark is exceeded or fallen below for a longer period of time, it is time to change the tires for the respective season.
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