Recordar cuándo cambiar los neumáticos: una cuestión clave.

Recordar cuándo cambiar los neumáticos: una cuestión clave.

Twice a year, most drivers are required to make an essential appointment for their safety: changing the tires. Whether when temperatures start to rise in spring or when they start to drop drastically, in addition to thinking about the famous «change of wardrobe», one must also think about replacing the tires from the previous season with ones more suitable for the upcoming weather.

Of course, there are specific rules for changing tires dictated by law. Let’s see what they are.

What does the law stipulate for changing tires?

In Italy, the regulations of the Road Code regarding the use of winter and summer tires are detailed and specific. Article 6 of Law No. 120, dated July 29, 2010, establishes that in the months when it is mandatory, vehicles must be equipped with winter tires suitable for driving on snow or ice-covered surfaces. Alternatively, anti-slip devices such as snow chains can be carried on board.

This obligation generally applies between November 15 and April 15 of the following year. In addition, on certain stretches of road and highways, signaled with signs showing a wheel with chains, the use of winter tires or the possession of chains on board is mandatory.

On the other hand, starting from April 15, drivers must equip themselves with summer tires, which must remain in the car until October 15.

In both cases, non-compliance with the law can result in significant penalties. Obviously, those who use all-season tires are exempt from this obligation.

How to change tires: do it yourself and professionally

Tire changing can be done independently, but it is important to consider some things before deciding whether to do it yourself or call a professional.

Do it yourself

Necessary equipment: You must have the right tools, such as a jack, a wrench for nuts, and a pressure gauge.

Knowledge: You need to know the correct procedure for lifting the car, removing the nuts, changing the tires, and ensuring they are mounted and balanced correctly.

Safety: It is essential to observe all safety measures, including using appropriate stands to support the machine during the turn.

Contact a professional

Experience and equipment: Professionals are equipped with more sophisticated equipment, such as balancers, and have the experience to perform the change safely and efficiently.

Quality assurance: Consulting a professional ensures that your tires are installed and balanced correctly, reducing the risk of future problems.

Another factor that determines the choice to go to a workshop for most car owners is related to the storage of the set of unused tires for that season. Not everyone has a garage or at least space to store tires that will then need to be reassembled.

All-season tires option

All-season tires can be a practical solution to the obligation of changing tires because they are designed to provide adequate performance in different weather conditions, both in summer and winter. However, despite their versatility, they have some limitations. In general, all-season tires offer lower performance than certain summer or winter tires in extreme conditions: they are not as optimal as summer tires in high temperatures or winter tires on snow and ice. Also, they may wear out faster than tires exclusively for all seasons. Therefore, although they are a convenient solution for those living in areas with moderate weather conditions, they may not be the best option for those living in regions with particularly cold winters or very hot summers.

How to understand what type of tire it is

Less experienced drivers may find themselves not knowing what types of tires their car currently has.

To distinguish between summer, winter, or all-season tires, some key characteristics can be observed: the first and most important are the markings printed on the side of each tire:

  • Winter tires are usually marked with a snowflake and/or the initials «M+S» (mud + snow)
  • All-season tires may also be marked as «M+S», but they are usually accompanied by a symbol representing all seasons, such as a combination of a sun and a snowflake.
  • Summer tires generally do not have these specific markings.

The second distinctive feature is the tread design: winter tires have a deeper tread with larger grooves to improve traction on snow and ice. Summer tires have a simpler design, optimized for grip on dry and wet roads. All-season tires have an intermediate design, suitable for both summer and winter conditions, but without specializing in either.

The importance of remembering to change tires was first published on Idee Green.


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