The tires specifically designed for winter use, dating from the early twentieth century, but their widespread use began much later. For many years, winter tires look like a copy of the tractor tires and differ from the standard models in the massive tread blocks - however, they are noisier, harder and have quite mediocre performance according to the today's standards. Many people still believe that the huge tread block mean excellent performance on snow, but it is completely wrong - tires with large tread blocks are usually designed for muddy conditions. A big market breakthrough for winter tires came with the construction of a special soft tread with unchanging characteristics at low temperatures compound and also the manufacturing technology for producing block with many sipes. Today, this type of tire can be recognized by its M + S mark, which means mud & snow.
Use of winter tires is not neccessary only when it`s snowing – when temperature drops below 7 degrees regardless of whether it snows or not, summer tires begin to lose their properties. By no means, it is not recommended to equip the car with winter and summer tires at once, and in some countries such as France and Austria it is absolutely forbidden. Real safety on the road in such conditions can only be achieved through the use of quality winter tires. The mark "mountain with a snowflake" which you can see on the sidewall of some tires is used as an additional indication of this type of tire and means that have passed all necessary under the laws of Canada and the U.S. tests.
The compounds, from which are made the summer tires begin to lose their properties at temperatures of below seven degrees. In contrast, the winter tires are manufactured from compounds containing much more natural rubber and more silica to remain significantly softer and therefore with better adhesion at low temperatures. Traditional configuration with block surfaces has to provide traction on dry, and wide grooves - to push water out in motion on wet surfaces or at temperatures where ice and snow melt from the pressure of winter tires and also form a water layer. Furthermore, snow tires have thousands of sipes on the block constructions with specific, usually a zigzag shape, which makes them longer. When driving on snow, their task is to “burrow claws” into it and to ensure the grip of the tire.Furthermore, a part of the snow remain under the "claw”andstick together to the snow under the tread (snow-snow grip) and after the sipes separate from the surface; they release the snow that has entered in them. In a significant part of modern tires the sipes (type 3D) are so constructed that they are not only zigzag horizontally but also vertically. The idea of this solution is in motion on snow surface to perform complete work, and when running on a hard surface to "self-lock", this way it not only increases the contact area, but also reduceswear.
It is especially important no note that of utmost importance is that tires are inflated to the appropriate pressure in order to keep their properties.
Widespread deception is that can replace the tires just to two of the wheels – for example driving front. In this case the rear part of the vehicle will be highly destabilized which figuratively speaking will turn around the front. To understand the meaning of this statement, take a toy car, block the front wheels with a rubber band and boost it by hand. After that block the rear wheels in the same way. You will notice that in second case the toy car will rotate. Whatever we say, it is mandatory to fit the four wheels with winter tires