WINTER/SNOW TYRE TECH
SNOW & ICE (WINTER) TYRES
Many locals are now taking advantage of a range of specialised Snow & Ice tyres which, up until recently, were not available within Australia.
These tyres are manufactured with a specialised rubber compound and tread design which differs to their “cousins” the Mud & Snow tyre and are specifically designed to work on Snow & Ice. If you are required to drive in snow and/or cold conditions regularly, these tyres are worthy of serious consideration.
HOW DO WINTER TYRES MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Winter Tyres incorporate high-silica compounds that retain flexibility as air and road temperatures plummet. Summer tyres – even the knobbier varieties found on many 4x4s – harden rapidly in sub-zero temperatures, causing the tyre to lose traction and ultimately grip.
The specialised tread design in winter tyres, with extra-deep channels, disperses the slush and surface water and is configured to combat aquaplaning on the treacherous film often found on top of ice on the roads surface.
Regardless of brand, one feature all modern Winter tyres share is the multitude of tiny slits, known as Sipes, cut deep into the tread blocks. These create countless grippy edges that grab hold of bitumen and help retain snow & ice crystals within the tread design giving the benefit of snow on snow traction. This ensures extra traction, safety and mobility as compared to the lack of traction with a cold, hard rubber tyre on snow.
WHAT IS THE THREE-PEAK MOUNTAIN SNOWFLAKE SYMBOL?
A three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol branded on a tyre's sidewall indicates that the tyre meets a specific performance criteria in snow testing. The 3PMSF symbol is now featured on some All Terrain tyres with snow performance ratings that also meets the international testing criteria. The Falken Wildpeak AT3W and the BF Goodrich KO2’s are but two that have achieved this certification.
Tyres branded with the 3PMSF symbol provide improved snow traction well beyond a standard M+S branded tyre, which do not need to meet any specific criteria to be marketed as such.
Important Note: 3PMSF branded All Terrain tyres cannot match the improved traction and performance of dedicated winter/snow tyre in all winter weather conditions and should not be considered a replacement for where and when a dedicated winter tyre is needed.