More and more drivers are replacing their summer tyres with MS or 3PMSF ones. Drivers are required by law to be prepared for the first snowfall, but no one wants to be caught off guard in the first place. A clear definition of a winter tyre can be difficult to come by at times, do they need MS or not? We are all aware that the information available on the internet is not always accurate, which is why we have decided to provide you with some simple explanations.
What do MS and 3PMSF actually mean?
The inscription MS (M.S, M+S, M&S) on the tyre wall stands for Mud and Snow. It indicates that the manufacturer certifies that it has the essential adherence for mud and snow driving.
In Romania, all winter tyres must have this inscription, as it is not used exclusively on all-season tyres, and here’s where things get a little confusing. Winter tyres with just the MS inscription are recommended for places where winters are warmer, with higher temperatures and less snow.
Drivers are looking for the snowflake or 3PMSF (Three-Peak Mountain SnowFlake) inscription on the winter tyres. It appears as a snowflake on a mountain with three peaks. There is no legal requirement for winter tyres to have this specific inscription. It indicates that the manufacturer certifies that the tyre can be used in the wintertime. The tyre is put through rigorous testing to ensure that it meets international requirements. These tyres are recommended for harsher winters.
It should be noted that the legislation only refers to the MS inscription:
“The “Winter Tyres Act” came into force in 2011, and everyone driving on snow-covered or icy public roads is required to have winter tyres. Even if the road is dry, there may be parts where there is ice, so do not drive, even over short distances, if the vehicle is not equipped with winter tyres. They are easily identified due to the presence of the letters M and S, in the form: “M + S”, “MS”, “MS” or “M&S”, without including in this category tyres marked only with the inscription “all seasons”. “
Read more to find more about how to safely drive during winter.