When to change winter tires?

Using winter tires ensures safe driving during the coldest period of the year. Winter tires are specifically designed to provide better grip and control in snowy, icy conditions, and cold temperatures. Installing winter tires at the right time guarantees better grip and contributes to a smoother, more secure driving experience. Find a Nokian Tyres dealer in your local area by using our Dealer Locator.

Change tires before winter weather hits

The only connection your vehicle has with the road is through its tires. Therefore, it’s important to do your part in ensuring that your tires perform optimally in all weather conditions. Knowing when to change winter tires plays an important role in that.

Install winter tires before freezing temperatures hit. As a good rule of thumb, consider changing to winter tires when the temperature consistently drops to 45 degrees Fahrenheit (~7 degrees Celsius) or lower. It's important to note that even if daytime temperatures rise, nights and early mornings can remain significantly colder. Also, be attentive to the weather when traveling long distances, as different zones can experience varying conditions and lower temperatures.

Some areas of Canada and the U.S. enforce laws regarding when it is time to change into winter tires. Be sure to check your local laws and regulations to ensure your tires are compliant.

It is recommended that you include tire rotation when transitioning to winter tires. This practice ensures even wear and prolongs the lifespan of your tires. Before tire replacement, consult the tire restrictions and recommendations provided by the vehicle’s manufacturer (you can check your vehicle's owner's manual).

Nokian Tyres Hakkapeliitta R5
Nokian Tyres Hakkapeliitta R5 non-studded winter tires.

Winter tires are crucial for safe driving

Winter tires are made of a special rubber compound, which is softer than the rubber compound utilized in all season tires. This special rubber compound used in winter tires retains flexibility in colder temperatures, ensuring consistent road grip. Winter tires also feature deeper treads and a special tread pattern, providing better traction and bite on snowy and icy surfaces.

Should you use studded tires or non-studded winter tires?

The decision between non-studded winter tires and studded tires depends on the driving conditions you expect to encounter, and your local laws and regulations, as studded tires are prohibited in some areas of North America. Studded tires are ideal for areas with frequent ice and extreme winter conditions, as studs offer ultimate grip on ice-covered roads, but be sure to check your local laws and regulations to ensure they are allowed on the roads where you drive. Non-studded winter tires offer versatility, uncompromising grip, and smart driving features for snowy roads. It is important not to mix different types of tires - as in, different styles, brands, sizes - for it could reduce the predictability and control over the vehicle.

Nokian Tyres Hakkapeliitta 10
Nokian Tyres Hakkapeliitta 10 winter studded tires.

When to switch back to all season tires?

Winter tires’ soft rubber can suffer damage under high heat. All season tires are designed to excel in warmer weather and wet surfaces. So, when winter months are over, it's time to switch back to all season (or summer) tires. Make your decision to change winter tires to all season tires based on temperatures and road conditions. When the seasonal temperature climbs consistently above 45 degrees Fahrenheit (~7 degrees Celsius), you might consider changing them.

Nokian Tyres One all season tires on a blue passenger vehicle parked next to a man and a woman who are sitting by a lake
Nokian Tyres One all season tires.

Select tires based on weather conditions and do your part to ensure safety on the road year-round. Consult your local Nokian Tyres dealer if you have questions about when you should change your tires over. Be sure to check local laws and regulations if you are considering purchasing studded winter tires.

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