Winter is coming, so in order to properly prepare for the change of season, knowing when to change to winter tires (but also when to take them off) is especially important. If you’re anticipating a bitter winter ahead, consider making necessary preparations for your vehicle and safety.
Why You Should Change To Winter Tires
Given their name, all-season tires are made to perform year-round in moderate weather conditions. While all-season tires provide combined benefits from both summer and winter tires, they are not ideal for drivers battling extreme cold, ice, and snow during the winter months. Experts agree that even the best all-season tires succumb to low temperatures, which causes the tire to harden and lose a significant amount of grip. Once your tires lose grip, other safety features of your car could lose functionality as well, such as all-wheel drive and anti-lock brakes. So if your area has regular freezing temperatures, whether with a large amount of snow, or just common freezing and dry temperatures, a winter tire will benefit you greatly.
Winter tires could be the difference in preventing a fender bender after hitting a patch of black ice, or needing to stop quickly on packed snow. Made with resilient rubber compounds designed to stay flexible in the cold, deep treads that quickly channel snow and slush away from the tire, and sipes designed to grab the road and packed snow, winter tires handle inclement weather for increased safety and handling on unplowed snow and slippery roads.
Below are additional benefits from switching to winter tires:
- A sense of safety and security to get where you need to go
- Increased grip ability to stop and start on a hill
- Maximize abrupt stopping power
- Capability to effectively maneuver in low temperatures, deep snow, and icy roads
When You Should Switch
Depending on the type and brand of tire installed, this answer could vary. A good rule of thumb is to change to winter tires season tires once temperatures consistently drop below 45°F. It’s also important to consider the time of day you are driving—daily highs might read well over 50°F, but given your early morning and evening commute, temperatures could be below 45°F at those times. For those with summer tires, aim to change them once temperatures consistently drop below 50°F.
When You Should Switch Back
Conversely, come springtime, similar guidelines should be followed when switching out of winter tires. If you own a set of all-season tires, you should switch when temperatures stay above 45°F each night. Since summer tires perform best when it’s warmer, you can hold off a little longer—especially if your area typically has late freezes.
To ensure you are following best practices for switching in and out of winter tires, consult with your local tire shop to see what they recommend based on your regional driving conditions. However, sticking to the general guideline of 45°F for all-season tires and 50°F for summer tires should increase the longevity of your tires and maximize your safety while driving.
You can find a wide selection of winter tires, from popular brands, on tires-easy.com. Read also about the new Cooper Evolution winter tire line, another great option for your car’ safety in the winter time.