What does the 3-peak mountain symbol on snow tires mean?

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When choosing a set of snow tires, there are different types to choose from. For example, you may see tires that say “M+S”, which stands for “mud and snow”. On other tires you may see a small symbol with a snowflake on a mountain, in which case your car will be better prepared to face harsh winter conditions. Here is what this symbol means.

This is what the symbol of the mountain with 3 peaks means

The three-peak symbol is displayed on the sidewall of a tire. | Wikimedia Commons

RELATED: What Temperature Is Too Hot for Winter Tires?

The 3-Peak Mountain (3PMS) symbol on a tire means it has been tested for acceleration in medium-packed snow and meets specific standards. According to Family handyman, tires that meet the 3PMS criteria scored at least a 110 on the traction index. This means that “they accelerate at least 10% faster than a typical all-season tire that is not rated 3PMS,” the publication reports.

Although you may not have noticed, these specially rated tires have been around for quite some time. In fact, the US Tire Manufacturers Association and the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada developed the 3PMS symbol in 1999. Since then, tire manufacturers have been required to meet symbol standards in the United States, Canada and Europe. .

How are 3PMS tires different from regular snow tires?

A winter tire shown on a car.

A winter tire is shown on a car. | Soeren Stache/photo alliance via Getty Images

Tires with the 3PMS rating use a softer compound that does not harden in sub-zero temperature reports Tire carriers. They also have special tread patterns with distinctive cross-cuts on the surface called “sipes”. These cuts contribute to the tire’s traction on snowy roads.

If you’re looking for a set of snow tires, you should be able to find some with the 3-Peak Mountain symbol from popular manufacturers like Goodyear, Michelin, Hankook, Nokian, Toyo, BF Goodrich, Yokohama, Kumho, Nitto and Vredestein . Also, retailers like Tire Rack normally stock these types of tires, so it should be easy to find them online for your car.

Can 3PMS tires be used all year round?

A snow tire making a track in the snow.

A snow tire making a track in the snow. | Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Technically, yes. Tires with the 3-Peak Mountain symbol are generally all-season tires that use the softer rubber compound. Although they won’t perform as well as summer tires when the weather gets hot, you can still use them in the middle of the year. This eliminates the need to swap tires between seasons, which can significantly reduce time and cost.

Some of the most popular tires are Michelin X-ICE, Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 and BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires.

Where can we find the symbol of the mountain with 3 peaks?

If you look at the sidewall of the tire, you will be able to spot the small symbol with the snowflake and the mountain peak on it. These types of tires are well worth the extra money you could spend on them, especially if you live in sub-zero climates during the winter.

And while non-3PMS tires will likely get you through the winter just fine, these purpose-built and tested tires are second to none. Of course, if you can’t find them for your specific vehicle application, a mud and snow tire should work just as well.

RELATED: Do You Need Winter Tires If Your Car Has All-Wheel Drive?

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