Below you will find a brief information on various topics that we at STRO often have to answer on. If you do not find the answer to your question here, you can send it by e-mail to STRO.
1. How should I understand all the designations on the tire?
2. How do I know that my winter tires are approved as winter tires?
To meet the requirements in the Swedish winter tire regulations, winter tires used on cars , light trucks, drive axels and front axels on trucks, and on trailers for cars have to:
Winter tires mounted on axles other than drive axles and front axles on cars with a total weight of more than 3,500 kg or on trailers with a total weight of more than 3,500 kg may instead be marked with M + S, MS, M & S, MS, MS or “Mud and Snow”.
Read more at Transportstyrelsen (https://transportstyrelsen.se/en/road/Vehicles/winter-tyres/)
Requirements in the Norwegian winter tire regulations are:
“Vehicles must not be used without sufficient wall grip in relation to the line, if necessary when using winter tires with or without studs, chains or the like”.
A winter tyre is a tyre that is marked by the manufacturer or retreading enterprise with “Mud and snow” (described as M+S, MS, M&S, M-S) or “3 peak mountain snowflake” (3PMSF/Alpine symbol). Winter tyres can be studded or non-studded.
As from the 2020/2021 winter season, there are new rules applying to winter tyres for heavy vehicles:
1. A motor vehicle with a maximum authorised mass of more than 3 500 kg must have winter tyres of the “3 peak mountain snowflake” type on drive axles and front steering axles. On other axles you can use tyres of the type “Mud and snow” or “3 peak mountain snowflake”.
2. If the vehicle has studded tyres of the “Mud and snow” type, originally manufactured in the time period from week 40/2017 up to and including week 40/2019 (specified on the side of the tyre), the requirement for “3 peak mountain snowflake” tyres on drive axles and front steering axles does not apply for the winter season 2020/21.
3. Trailers with a maximum authorised mass exceeding 3 500 kg must have tyres of the “Mud and snow” or “3 peak mountain snowflake” type.
Winter tires for passenger cars, vans and special vehicles as well as trailers in category O2 As winter tires in accordance with section 105 of the Road Traffic Act for passenger cars, vans and special vehicles with a classification mass not exceeding 3,500 kg and for trailers in category O2 are considered
1) tires that have been approved as winter tires for demanding winter conditions in accordance with E-regulations no. 117, 109 or 108 and which are marked with the symbol 3PMSF (pictured) in accordance with the said E-regulations or which are studded tires referred to in section 106 of the Road Traffic Act.
2) tires which are primarily approved for off-road use in accordance with E-regulations no. 117 or 109 and which in the said E-regulations are marked with POR (Professional Off Road) , or
3) such studded tires as referred to in section 106 of the Road Traffic Act.
Winter tires for cars with a classification mass greater than 3,500 kg and buses Winter tires according to section 105 of the Road Traffic Act for trucks, buses and passenger or special vehicles with a classification mass greater than 3,500 kg are considered tires that are approved as winter tires for demanding winter conditions according to E-regulations no. 117 or 109 and marked with the symbol 3PMSF according to the said E-regulations.
Winter tires referred to here are also studded tires according to section 106 of the Road Traffic Act and tires that are primarily approved for use in terrain according to E-regulations no. 117 or 109 and which are marked POR (Professional Off Road) according to the said E-regulations. 2.3
No definition or demand on winter tires.
3. Can you drive with summer tires in the winter in the nordic countries?
Yes, it is allowed to drive with summer tires during the winter. If winter road conditions prevail on the road you travel on or on adjacent roads during the period when it is a demand on winter tires, you must, however, have approved winter tires.
4. Can you drive on winter tires in the summer in the nordic countries?
Yes, it is allowed to drive with winter tires in the summer, but not studded tires where the studs have not been removed. But the tire industry does not recommend driving with winter tires in the summer. Winter tires have a different construction and a softer rubber compound than summer tires. Winter tires are developed to work when it is cold and on winter road conditions. Summer tires are safer when it is hot and summer road conditions. It is not allowed to mix summer and winter tires on the car.
5. What are the rules for tread depth?
The same rules for tread depth apply to summer and winter tires. The tires must have a tread depth of at least 1.6 mm in the main tread in the middle 75% of the tread width. If winter road conditions prevail on the road you travel on or on adjacent roads during the period when it is a demand on winter tires, the tires must have a tread depth of 3 mm on Passenger cars. For a complete information of tread depths on both Passenger cars, trucks and other vehicles, see “Nordic Tyre regulations”
6. How do tires age? Can I buy a new tire that is two to three years old without it having deteriorated properties?
New tires that are stored correctly do not age significantly. The tire’s aging process only starts when you start using it. You can safely buy tires that are a few years old. A study of 3-year-old winter tires made by VTI in Linköping in Sweden showed that they had as good properties on ice as newly manufactured tires. More information under “Age“.
7. Are HA oils dangerous?
Many types of HA (high aromatic) oils are used in tires. 8 PAHs that may be present in certain HA oils are classified subject to labeling by the EU. The tire industry has gradually phased out these oils and the tires are completely free of these PAHs from 1 January 2010. More information about HA oils can be found under “Ha oils”.
8. Replacement of tires and rims. What can I do?
From 1 October 2006, new rules apply for the replacement of tires and rims on all cars (<3.5 t). These rules apply to both fully vehicle-approved cars and cars with national approval. You will find the rules that apply to the replacement of tires and rims under “Information” on our website.
9. Is it dangerous to fit tires with the direction of rotation “wrong way”?
Some tires have an arrow on the side of the tire that shows the intended direction of rotation of the tire. To achieve the optimum performance of the tire, the tire should be mounted so that it rolls in the direction intended by the manufacturer. Should you for some reason mount the tire with the wrong rolling direction, you cannot take advantage of the tire’s optimal performance. Driving with the wrong direction of travel is not dangerous, but for best properties and results, the tire should be fitted as intended by the manufacturer.
10. Which countries have bans or restrictions on studded tires?
You will find the answer to the question under the heading “Studded tire rules“.
11. What do the different designations on the rims mean?