This information section further explains tyre choice, manufacturing, tyre care and Nokian company information. We encourage you to contact us if you have any further questions.
Choosing the right tyre
What size tyre fits my car?
The original equipment tyre size range is usually listed on a label on the driver’s door frame or in the user guide. The ideal scenario is to replace your tyres with the exact size that came as original equipment. If this is not possible, please contact us to help you find an alternative.
I am interested in purchasing snow tyres. How do I choose between the different models?
In 1934, Nokian invented the first snow tyre, the Hakkapeliitta, and have produced state-of-the-art snow tyres ever since. No company has as many winter tyre specific patents and innovations as Nokian. Their product line covers the most applications and different intended uses.
Through a combination of tread compounds, siping, and the infusion of Hakka Ice Grip particles, Nokian’s Hakka snow tyres rival even some studded tyres in grip on ice and snowy surfaces.
If you prefer to use one set of tyres all year or live in an area where winter is not as severe, Nokian offers an All-Weather line of tyres which will meet your needs. These All-Weather tyres carry the Severe Service Emblem (the mountain snowflake symbol), which means they meet winter performance testing requirements.
What does ‘All-Weather’ tyre really mean?
Nokian invented the All-Weather tyre category specifically for the North American market where drivers typically prefer to use one set of tyres all year. Designed as a winter tyre first, Nokian All-Weather lines can be used year-round and still provide class-leading winter grip. Further, unlike some other winter tyres, they will not be damaged if driven during the summer months.
Are the Nokian WR G3 and WR G3 SUV Winter tyres or All-Season tyres?
Nokian refer to them as All-Weather tyres, not All-Season tyres. Whereas All-Season tyres are best suited for spring, summer, and fall and can handle some winter conditions, the WR G3 and WR G3 SUV are true winter tyres that can also be used during the rest of the year. This differs from winter-specific tyres that should not be driven in the warmer months due to excessive tread wear.
What does a 'Low Rolling Resistance Tyre' mean?
Low rolling resistance refers to the energy needed to keep an object rolling. Think of the difference between a marble and a foam ball. If rolled on a hard surface with the same forward force, a marble is harder and will roll easier and further than the foam ball. A tyre with low rolling resistance requires less energy to keep moving down the road thereby saving you money in lower fuel costs. A rolling resistance reduced by 40 percent saves 6 percent of fuel consumption and produces less CO2 emissions. Low rolling resistance tyres can be achieved through tread pattern, tyre compound, weight, and construction materials. Nokian does not compromise ride quality or safety in the interest of achieving low rolling resistance.
Which Nokian tyres feature Low Rolling Resistance?
Nokian has been designing it into their tyres for years in order to save consumers money and minimise emissions from their vehicles. All current Nokian snow tyres feature Low Rolling Resistance. We can confidently say that Nokian have done more research in this area than many of our competitors and repeatedly dominate over the competition in low rolling resistance tests.
Does Nokian offer Run Flat winter tyres?
Nokian offer Run Flat tyres in winter and All-Weather lines. They have one of the most in depth winter tyre run flat offerings which makes them a popular brand of choice for luxury vehicle owners. The term ‘Run Flat’ or ‘Flat Run’ is included in the product name for the sizes that offer this feature.
What about running narrower tyres (called ‘minus-sizing’) in the winter?
Minus-sizing can be an option for winter because of the lower price of smaller wheels. But nowadays with the requirements for TPMS pressure monitoring sensors, it is best to use snow tyres that are the same size as what originally came on your vehicle. With a narrower tyre, you would see slightly better winter performance, but you may sacrifice ride and handling abilities.
General information about snow tyres
How will snow tyres affect my vehicle handling and braking?
In general, dry handling and braking will be affected only slightly when using snow tyres, and the safety gain in winter weather is significant.
Why does Nokian talk about ‘winter tyres’ instead of ‘snow tyres’?
Nokian now uses the term ‘winter tyres’ instead of ‘snow tyres’ because their tyres are designed to work in winter conditions, not just snow. The tyre compounds are optimised to provide grip even on dry roads in weather below 7 degrees.
Here in Australia with our warmer climates, the winters can be quite mild depending on where you live. We’ve found that our customers prefer to use the term ‘snow tyres’, so that’s why we refer to Nokian’s range as ‘snow tyres’, rather than ‘winter tyres’.
Are snow tyres noisy?
Snow tyres may be slightly louder than regular tyres, but are by no means offensive. Please contact us if you’d like to find out the external rolling noise levels in decibels for any of the Nokian snow tyres.
What is the 'mountain snowflake' or 'Severe Service Emblem', and why do I need it on my snow tyres?
All Nokian snow tyres have the mountain snowflake designation. The mountain snowflake symbol was created in Canada to designate a snow tyre that has passed the minimum requirements for winter traction. Anyone that drives in winter conditions should consider having tyres with this symbol on them as a minimum requirement. Nokian tyres routinely exceed the requirements for this symbol.
I don't get much snow so why do I need snow tyres?
In general, summer tyres are optimised for performance at 7 degrees and above. If you drive a large amount of time in temperatures below this, you should seriously consider Nokian All-Weather tyres which are designed to provide grip in colder temperatures. This is why Nokian now refer to ‘winter tyres’ not ‘snow’ tyres because they provide increased safety in winter, not just snow.
I have four wheel drive or all-wheel drive so I don't need snow tyres, right?
Acceleration with original equipment All-Season or All-Terrain tyres in winter conditions is relatively easy to achieve with AWD and 4WD. Driving is usually OK until there is a need to steer or stop in a hurry, and the tyres do not grip. This is why you see so many SUVs and 4X4s off the road in alpine areas. Vehicles such as these benefit from snow tyres just as much as FWD cars do.
I don't want to buy an extra set of tyres. Can't I use mine all year?
Buying snow tyres is not buying an extra set. You will need to buy another set of tyres for your car eventually (generally after two or three years). If you buy a set of snow tyres now, you are prolonging the life of the summer tyres. In essence, you are buying your replacement tyres early but will now enjoy the benefit and safety of having appropriate tyres for the weather conditions.
Can't I just get two snow tyres?
No. While this used to be the conventional wisdom, this creates the hazardous condition of having one axle that has grip while the other does not. This will result in a dangerously increased chance of a spin out.
When should I put on my snow tyres and when should I take them off?
This varies by region, but once temperatures consistently are around 7 degrees Celsius, any driver will benefit from the grip of winter tyres. At the end of the season, it makes sense to remove winter tyres once temperatures are consistently over 7 degrees Celsius. However, if the tread depth of the snow tyres in the spring is below 5mm you can keep them mounted to ‘run them out’ and use them until they are worn down further and then replace them for next winter.
Can I drive my snow tyres all year round?
We do not recommend the use of Nokian Hakka snow tyres throughout the year. The rubber compounds may wear quicker on the hotter road surfaces. However, you can use Nokian’s All-Weather tyres year-round.
My car has TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring). Can I still use snow tyres?
Yes. In an ideal world, drivers in winter climates would have two sets of tyres on wheels, one set for summer and one set for winter. This facilitates season changeovers and eliminates the need to mount and balance each season. However, on newer vehicles this requires an extra set of TPMS sensors for the other wheels. This used to be cost prohibitive but now is more affordable as pricing on TPMS has come down. The alternative is to mount and balance snow/summer tyres on the original wheels each season. Another option is to buy Nokian All-Weather tyres and run them year-round and still get excellent winter performance.
Tyre manufacturing and environmental issues
What goes into the price of a tyre?
Tyres are complicated technical products and tyre manufacturing requires massive investments in product development and production machinery. The majority of the price of the tyre is because of the raw materials used and the manufacturing labour costs.
Why are Nokian tyres at a premium price?
As one of the most important safety devices for your vehicle, Nokian view tyres as a key investment and strive to make their tyres as safe as possible. They continually develop their products and design new safety features into each evolution of the product. Nokian operate their winter tyre testing facility at Ivalo in Finland which is 200km north of the Arctic Circle in Lapland. Continual research and development and the quality of their product come with a cost, but customers truly feel the added safety and high quality is worth the price.
How environmentally friendly are Nokian brand passenger car tyres?
The environmental friendliness of Nokian’s products and manufacturing processes is an essential part of their operations. Nokian’s main principle is to select the least environmentally damaging raw materials available and, consequently, Nokian Tyres is the first ever tyre manufacturer to receive the ISO 14001 environmental certificate.
In the tyre size designation, what do 205/55 R15 or 205/60 R16 stand for?
The first three-digit number is the cross-section width in millimetres measured at the widest point when the tyre is mounted on the measuring rim. The number after the slash is the aspect ratio, which is the relationship between the standing height of the tyre and the cross-section width as a percentage. The ‘R’ refers to rim size in inches.
What does the XL stand for in the size designation of a tyre?
XL is the ‘Extra Load’ load range. The tyre is developed for a maximum load of four units higher than a non XL tyre in the same size. This enables the tyre to carry a heavier load. This type of tyre is becoming increasingly popular as the number of high performance vehicles has increased.
What information does the Nokian DSI (Driving Safety Indicator) provide for the driver?
The DSI driving safety indicator displays the remaining tread in millimetres, and shows you when you should replace your tyres. It is recommended that the tyre be replaced once the ‘4’ has worn away. On some tyres, DSI also includes a snow flake symbol. When this has worn away, the tyres’ winter performance capabilities are no longer optimal, indicating it is time for replacement. By monitoring the tread wear, you can get more mileage out of your tyres by rotating the positions of the tyres between the front and rear axles and even different sides of your vehicle. Frequent rotations evens out the differences in tread wear rates between the different positions on the vehicle.
Is there a manufacturing date on Nokian tyres?
On all Nokian branded tyres, a four-digit code shows the year and week when the tyre was manufactured. The manufacturing code has four digits, for example, the code ‘2106’ means that the tyre was manufactured in week number 21 of the year 2006. The tyre industry believes that tyres are safe for use up to 6 years after the date of manufacture.
My tyres are wearing unevenly. What should I do?
Go to your local tyre dealer and ask them about the problem. There is likely an alignment or wheel balance issue with your vehicle. If the problem is unchecked, you can cause serious damage to the tyres.
My tyres wear more in the middle than at the sides. Do I have incorrect inflation pressures, or why does this happen?
Traction tyres normally wear more in the middle than at the sides and free-rolling tyres wear more at the sides. The best way to even out the wear and to get the best possible driving results from your tyres is to rotate the positions of the tyres between the front and rear axles after every 5,000km – 10,000km.
What tyre pressure should I run in my tyres? How do I know the correct inflation pressures?
You will find details of the correct inflation pressures for your car in the Owner’s manual or on the tyre placard. Temperature has a significant impact on tyre pressure. For summer tyres, we recommend using the vehicle manufacturer’s suggested tyre pressure. For snow tyres, you should inflate the tyres to 0.2 bar above the summer tyre recommendation.
How often should I check my tyre pressure?
The tyre industry recommends monthly checking of tyre pressure.
How long should my tyres last?
This is all dependent on driving style and road conditions. Snow tyres have compounds for better grip in cold temperatures so you see virtually no high mileage 80K+ true winter tyres. That said, Nokian strives to make their snow tyres last long to minimise the impact on the environment of replacing tyres.
What does Hakkapeliitta mean?
Hakkapeliitta refers to the legendary warriors from Finland that fought in Europe during the Middle Ages. The term embodies the company’s fighting spirit and Nordic roots. Nokian use it to denote their flagship snow tyre which is still the top performing snow tyre, the Hakkapeliitta R2.
Does Nokian only make snow tyres?
While they are known in Australia primarily as the leading snow tyre brand, Nokian also have a complete range of summer tyres that routinely win tests by magazines throughout Europe. Nokian also manufacture truck tyres, bus tyres, forestry tyres and tyres for agricultural and mining operations.
How come I have never heard of Nokian tyres?
Nokian is recognised as a technological leader in the tyre business, especially in winter/snow tyres where they hold more patents than any other manufacturer. The Nokian brand dominates Scandinavia and is highly regarded in countries throughout Europe and North America. Nokian Tyres has been in available in Australia since 2004 and here we are focused on steady growth. Nokian is well known in alpine regions but a relative newcomer in others. The Nokian brand focuses on selling replacement tyres so they are not original equipment on any car or SUV.
How long has Nokian been making tyres?
Nokian have been in the rubber business for over 100 years and made their first winter/snow tyre in 1934. Please visit our About page to watch a video on Nokian’s proud history.
Wasn't Nokian Tyres once called Nokia Tyres? Are the two companies related?
Nokian were once part of the consumer electronics brand Nokia which had its start in Nokia, Finland. They were spun off from the company in 2003 and changed their name to Nokian Tyres.
Where are Nokian tyres made?
Nokian have two manufacturing facilities, one in Nokia, Finland and one in Vsevolozhsk, Russia outside of St. Petersburg. The Russian factory is one of the most efficient, automated, technologically advanced tyre manufacturing facilities in the world.