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The difference between winter and summer tyres

When you are not a specialist, it can be hard to grasp the difference between winter and summer tyres. Let’s discover which one is better suited to your needs with this quick guide.

What are the specific characteristics of winter tyres?
Compared to summer tyres, winter tyres (also known as cold weather tyres) have rubber compounds which remain soft under low temperatures and a highly grooved sculpture providing optimal performance on cold conditions (dry, wet, snowy or icy). They are recognisable by special markings on the side: a “M+S” symbol or a Three Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF).    

Tyres with "M+S" markings on the sidewalls are Snow tyres on a pure regulation point of view. Nevertheless, as this marking is not associated to any mandatory performance test, there is no performance guarantee associated with “M+S” marked tyres.
On the contrary, 3PMSF (3 Peak Mountain Snow Flake) marked tyres are winter tyres that have been approved through a regulation test to guarantee the right level of performance under winter condition. Michelin recommends using 3PMSF marked tyres as winter tyres during the winter season.

What are the right weather conditions to run winter tyres?
Winter certified tyres should be mounted on your vehicle as soon as the temperature falls consistently below +7° C, usually from mid-October to mid-April, depending on the weather.

What are the right weather conditions to run summer tyres?
On the other hand, summer tyres guarantee the maximum safety performance above +7°C. Their compounds and design enable good grip and handling on both dry and wet roads in warmer conditions, while providing higher levels of longevity, fuel efficiency and comfort.  

One last tip for the trip
If you opt for winter tyres, remember to fit them in sets of four to maintain the stability of your vehicle.

More advice and videos


To equip your vehicle and drive in winter

All our winter advices


To use your winter tyres better

Everything on winter tyres


My Winter with Michelin Be safe in winter



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