Winter tyres for car? and winter driving in general

Hi fellow mustachians

With the upcoming winter, I’m looking into buying winter tyres for my car. I have no idea where/how to start!

Our car is a Suzuki SX4 from 2013 with adw. We live in the mountains. The car currently have tyres that can be used year round (that’s what the seller said).

Some criterias and questions:

  • As safe/best grip possible, two little kids are in the car. Spikes?
  • Should I also get chains as a backup? I’m not planning to drive when there is too much snow or really icy. This probably means a couple of weeks/months where we live.
  • I have some experience of winter roads from living in Scandinavia but not as a car owner
  • Do I need to start the engine every week for the battery?
  • Best place to buy them, online?
  • Change them in any garage?
  • I can store them in our basement to avoid that cost…
  • Anything else to consider?

Any help is appreciated - Thank you!

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Main place to check is
You may also compare between different online suppliers on

Reifendirekt, as well as others has "Partner"s which will take deliveries and mount the tires for you. Very convenient as you don’t have to move them around yourself, and you can at the same time find the cheapest offer to having them mounted in your area (as low as 12-15 CHF per tire).

Stick to brand names such as Goodyear, Michelin, Continental or so called “Premiummarken”.


I missed several points.

  1. Spikes are illegal on asphalt
  2. Yes, get chains just in case, for all 4 wheels. Winter tires and 4WD are of no help if the road is icy.
  3. Is your garage reasonably warm? If not and you don’t drive the car for extended periods of time (>2wks) it may be reasonable to disconnect the battery. Or perhaps get a basic multimeter and monitor the voltage on the battery clamps once in a while. 12.7V is fully charged, <12V means over-discharged - better do some driving to charge it or risk not being able to start…
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thanks @glina!

Lets say I drive a little/start the engine at least once every two weeks. For how long do I need to keep it running to charge the battery?


It’s really impossible to say as the battery will charge faster if it’s deeply discharged (voltage difference between the alternator and the battery is then the greatest, so more current flows) and it’s also dependent if any other equipment is drawing energy (radio, lights) or on engine RPM.

Not to overcomplicate things, a weekly trip of 10-15km should be enough to keep the battery healthy.


i can add on 2 things here, battery & changin tires:
modern Li-polymer (a bit more expensive…) make it half a year with no charging. I have good experience with my motorbike which often stands for months, especially in winter.

if you move the car for no other reason than the battery, just don’t. it’s horrible in ecologic and economic perspective, and also for the long-term health of your engine. typically you would get a nice charging device that does the discharge/charge cycle on its own when you connect it once per month.

for changing the tires, that’s abit of an old fashioned macho-clichee-activity, but there is zero reason why a (female) mustashian would hire somebody for doing that. my dad showed me when i was six, and i could have done it myself if i had had a bit more strength. all it takes is a generic “how-to change tires”-youtube like this and ~1h of time. less each season that you practice :slight_smile:


Thanks for the extra input @nugget !

So it seems this would be the best option for those weeks when I don’t use the car? as @glina suggested?

I guess I could also learn to disconnect and connect the battery myself?

Thanks for the link to the tires changing video - I’m inspired to do it myself! just need to get the tools for it.

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I thought that changing the tyres must at least once be made by a professional for calibration reasons.

Small linguistic difference in changing whole wheel or tyre.
Mustachian is definitely get 4 complete winter wheels and change yourself. Changing tyres will always require a visit to the garage and cost about Fr 120 up… twice a year!
My 70+ y/o mum changes the wheels by herself.


im not a professional. I never heard of that. but there is really nothing to calibrate. the wheels have a precise centering. if there is something wrong its the axis, and that requires a professional mechanic. otherwise i wouldnt know

Balancing can be necessary. They do it sticking small weights to the rims. It has to be done by professionals. Not doing it can result in abnormal tyre consumption.

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It may well be that you do not need to fully disconnect the battery. On most modern cars there is a special fuse in the fuse box that you can pull out in order to disconnect the board computer which drains most of the current while the car is not operated. You can still operate the car normally but you loose the central locking and the radio.

We are in the middle of this discussion ; we barely drive 50-100km a week in average (~5000km per year). If it is snowing a lot we simply use bus and trains or bikes.
I can change tyres by myself but need to buy rims… My thoughts is to simply put all-season tyres and changing it every 4 years (20k) I would save the rims cost and only pay one tyre change once, maybe twice if we keep the car 8 years, which is the plan.

1 Like seems to be basically the same store, but prices are lower.