So you're about to buy winter tyres and want to know how they perform on snow and ice? If your tyres are going to withstand harsh road conditions in the winter season they need to offer the very highest level of grip and traction. Find out how the M+S and 3PMSF labels can help you make the right choice.
Is the M+S marking on tyres reliable?
The M+S marking on tyres stands for 'mud and snow' and can be found on all winter tyres. It tells you that the tyre tread is designed to cope with muddy or snow-covered roads. You will therefore also find this marking on 4x4 tyres and all-season tyres. Depending on the brand it may be displayed on the tyre in a different format: M+S, M&S, MS, M/S etc.
The M+S marking is a declaration made by the manufacturer and is not subject to any particular standards or tests. Therefore, this marking does not offer a solid guarantee as regards the tyre's performance in winter conditions.
3PMSF, a guarantee of tyre performance on snow
The 3PMSF (Three Peak Mountain Snowflake) label, with a picture of a snowflake against a mountain peak, certifies the tyre's performance on snow-covered surfaces. In order to obtain the label, winter tyres are subjected to testing intended to determine their traction capability on snow.
The 3PMSF marking is therefore a reliable means of determining performance when purchasing winter tyres. Tyres which come with this label are often more expensive than tyres with M+S only, as the structure, tread and composition of the rubber are specifically adapted to winter conditions.
If you want a guarantee of tyre performance in winter conditions, in particular on snow, look for the 3PMSF label.
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