Now that April is suddenly bringing winter weather again, motorists who drive on winter tires are once again confronted with the eternal dilemma: switch to summer tires or not?

The ideal change date does not exist.

After all, nothing is more changeable than the weather.

As a guideline, a temperature of 7 degrees Celsius is often used.

If the temperature rises structurally during the day, it would at least seem sensible to switch.

After all, as soon as it gets warmer, summer tires are a safer choice.

Winter tires wear out faster than summer tires at higher temperatures.

The handling of winter tires at higher temperatures is also less good.

When the summer tires reappear, it is of course wise to immediately check their tread depth.

A passenger car tire must, by law, have a minimum profile of 1.6 millimeters.

Vereniging VACO, the trade association for the tire and wheel industry in the Netherlands, recommends replacing a summer tire with a tread depth of at least 2 millimeters.

It is different with winter tires.

These already lose their specific properties at a profile depth of 4 millimeters.

The advice is therefore to replace winter tires even with a profile of at least 4 millimeters.

The all-season tire is a compromise, but a good compromise

Anyone who has been using winter tires during the winter months in recent years, but is getting tired of having to change over and over again, can consider a four-season tire or all-season tire.

This is partly a summer tire and partly a winter tire, so it can be used all year round.

The main advantages of such a four-season tire are that you do not have to purchase a separate set of winter tires and you do not have to change the tires twice a year.

Incidentally, a four-season tire is only a 'real' winter tire when it is fitted with the so-called 'three peak mountain' on the side;

a figure of a mountain with three peaks and in the middle an image of a snowflake.

A major disadvantage of a four-season tire remains the compromise.

The properties in the summer are less than that of a 100 percent summer tire.

The same is true in winter compared to a 100 percent winter tire.

On the other hand, the quality of all-season tires has improved in recent years.

Tire tests, such as those of

AutoWeek

, regularly show that their performance hardly differs from 'thoroughbred' summer or winter tires.

  • How long does a band actually last?

Tires dry out over time, causing dry cracks.

Due to aging, the properties of the rubber deteriorate.

It is recommended to replace tires after six years, even if there is still enough tread on them.

  • How can I tell how old my tires are?

The maximum age of a tire or the maximum use of a car tire is six years.

A tire that is six years or older should be replaced for safety reasons.

You can read the age of the tire on the side of the tire.

Behind the so-called DOT code you will find the production date of the tire.

Example: the code 1920 means that the tire was manufactured in the nineteenth week of the year 2020.

The production date can also consist of three digits.

In that case the band is still from the last century and for that reason alone needs to be replaced.

The answers to many more questions about tires can be found in this special AutoWeek file.

The results of tire tests that AutoWeek has conducted over more than ten years can be found in this overview.

This price comparator for car tires is also very useful.