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e.g. winter tyres  
 
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Winter tyres

Many people coming to Germany to live are unaware of the fact that most cars here have two sets of tyres.  The reason for this is the large difference in temperature and therefore road conditions between the summer and winter months.

The winter tyres are made of a rubber mixture that does not because so hard in freezing temperatures, which gives them more grip on cold roads.  The tread has so-called “lamella” shape, which allows it to run better on snow.  Since many side roads do not get gritted or cleared of snow, this can be an important factor.  Cars that are primarily driven on roads in the Alps may even have spiked tyres or snow chains.

The summer tyres are made of a different mixture, that does not become so soft when it gets hot.  This allows them a better grip on hot tarmac in the summer, even when it is wet.

It is important to be aware of this difference, as driving with the wrong kind of tyre can have a negative influence on any insurance claims after an accident.

So every year in April and October I take my car to the garage to have the tyres changed.  They do not simply change the rubber tyre, but the whole wheel.  At the same time they balance them out and also make sure that the tyres with the most tread on them get put on the corners that are most likely to wear during the season.

Left: winter  - Right: summer

Left: winter - Right: summer

The ‘old’ tyres are then put into storage and I am used with a certificate called a Reifenpass with their storage location on and the amount of tread in millimetres left on each tyre.

The whole process can take anything from about 15 minutes up to (as it did yesterday) a whole hour.

For those who do not use their cars so much, there is an alternative called “Ganzjahresreifen” – tyres for the whole year, that are a comprimise between the other two.

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11 Responses to “Winter tyres”

  1. Winter tyres · I Article says:

    […] Read more from the original source:  Winter tyres […]

  2. Turn Your Old Car in to New One | Cars Blog says:

    […] AllThingsGerman.net » Blog Archive » Winter t&#121res […]

  3. Turn Your Old Car in to New One | Cars Blog says:

    […] All&#84hingsGerman.net » Blog Archive » Winter tyres […]

  4. […] viel Schnee haben die Briten auf ihrer Insel noch selten gesehen. Das kennen sie genauso wenig wie Winterreifen. In Deutschland freuen sich die Kinder über den Schnee, nur als Autofahrer ist man nicht so […]

  5. […] things that German residents – and possibly long-term visitors – need to know about: Winter tyres, snow-clearing duty and a lack of […]

  6. […] things that German residents – and possibly long-term visitors – need to know about: Winter tyres, snow-clearing duty and a lack of […]

  7. […] Continue reading at AllThingsGerman.net […]

  8. […] tyres for the road conditions, but did not actually specify that you had to have winter tyres on in winter.  Indeed, many people with good tread on their summer tyres continued to use them […]

  9. Online sellers have a very wide selection and prices should be low, but remember that you won’t be able to knock the price down further than what’s quoted and they’re not useful if you need a tyre at short notice. Most online sellers will send you to a tyre specialist for fitting, while some will come out to your workplace or home, so they are convenient.

  10. plumbing says:

    I agree that when a winter tyres are made of a rubber mixture it does not work so hard in freezing temperatures, which gives them more grip on cold roads.

  11. […] Continue reading at AllThingsGerman.net // […]

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