From E to O - Driving safely in cold weather

What you should bear in mind when changing tires

At the onset of fall and winter, there are many things to take care of on your automotive winter checklist. Among them is changing the tires. From E to O, from Easter to October - that's the golden rule for changing tires. If you have summer and winter tires, you should start clearing the winter tires out of the garage and putting them on your wheels in October. They are not only important companions in winter snow, but already in wet weather and autumn temperatures decisive for safety when driving. What is the difference between winter, summer and all-season tires and what you should pay attention to when changing tires, can sometimes not be so simple. We have the whole topic, broken down for you.
What to consider when changing tiresWhat to consider when changing tires

What is the difference between summer and winter tires?

1.rubber compound at cold temperatures

There are three characteristics in which winter tires and summer tires differ from each other: Rubber compound, structure and in the tread pattern.

2.Adapted to winter: Tire construction

Winter tires also have a tread pattern adapted to winter. The tread grooves of winter tires are significantly deeper and wider. In addition, the tread is designed so that the tire channels absorb snow, because snow adheres best to snow. This increases the grip on the driving surface and the vehicle moves forward faster on snowy and icy roads.
In addition, winter tires are characterized by very many and fine incisions, so-called sipes. They improve grip on snow, slush and ice and drain water, minimizing slippage and unwanted aquaplaning. Especially in autumn, roads are usually wet and slippery due to wet leaves and heavier rainy days.

3.check tire tread and tire pressure  

Therefore, it is also particularly important to regularly check the tread of the winter tire every year or when driving long distances. The legal minimum depth of a tire tread is 1.6 mm, however, the tire should already be changed at a tread depth of 3 to 4 mm. In addition, you should regularly check the tire pressure. Not only does wear increase significantly with low tire pressure, but consumption also increases significantly. Even at 0.5 bar lower tire pressure, fuel consumption increases by around 5 percent. This means that you will not only get through autumn and winter safely, but also save fuel.
Fuel consumption is influenced not only by tire pressure, but also by factors such as cold start, load weight and injection. The injection cycle can be adjusted using an additional module, reducing fuel consumption by up to 2 liters.

What are all season tires?

All-season tires can still be used in summer and winter. In Germany, it makes perfect sense to switch to all-season tires, as there are only minor temperature differences between the seasons here. However, it must be noted: In the snow, all-season tires are not quite as effective as winter tires, and in the summer they cause slightly higher abrasion or tire wear, which can also lead to higher fuel consumption.
If you are driving in wintry mountains with a lot of snow in November or December, such as the Alps, you should also purchase snow chains. Without chains, it is often impossible to negotiate the snow-covered roadways. But even in remote, rural areas, snow chains can get you safely through the village.

What to look out for when changing tires?

What to consider when changing tiresWhat to consider when changing tires
If you don't have your tires changed in a garage or by a mechanic, you should pay attention to a few important points when changing tires.

Apart from the necessary tools - including jack, jack stands, wheel spiders and torque wrenches - the tires and wheel bolts should be checked before and after fitting. Wheel bolts and wheel nuts must not show any damage. Broken, cracked or defective material should be replaced immediately and never used. Likewise, you must make sure that the bolted connections as well as contact surface do not show any rust. If this is the case due to wet weather, you can clean them with a wire brush. Before fitting tires, you should also , check them for damage, , especially if they are already in use. Small cuts, impact fractures, cracks, holes and bulges indicate damage and the tire should be replaced in this case.

After mounting the tires are air pressure and after a few kilometers once again check the screws and if necessary, these are to be retightened. If you have never changed tires and own an SUV, a visit to the workshop is recommended. Here, problems with the control systems can occur more often.

Although winter tires that have already been used can be used for up to eight years, it is advisable to replace any tires, whether summer, winter or all-season tires, with new ones after 6 years. The risk of accidents increases the more worn the tires are.