Is It Time to Swap Out For Your Summer Tires, Yet?
When Should You Remove Snow Tires?
The tires on your car play a pivotal role in steering and, most importantly, stopping. When the first day of spring finally rolls around, the Budds’ Chev Service Department is flooded with calls from people asking, ‘When Should You Remove Snow Tires?’ For better or worse, there is no hard and fast date you can circle on the calendar each year and deem it, ‘Tire Change Day.’ Instead, our team of service experts suggests waiting for the weather to be consistently warmer. Let’s take a look at a few things you might find helpful when it comes to changing out your winter tires for warm weather seasonal options.
READ MORE: Can a Car Overheat When It’s Cold Outside?
What is the 7-degree Rule?
In any discussion about seasonal tires, snow tires or summer tires, the 7-degree rule comes into play. In the fall, when the ambient temperature average is below 7°C, it’s time to put on winter-ready tires. When spring finally arrives, it’s ok to put on your other set of tires when the average ambient temperature is able to hold above 7°C. The reason for the 7-degree rule is that seems to be the point where the performance of all tires begin to be affected in one way or another. All-season and summer tires get too stiff to be effective at temps below 7°C, and winter tires are too soft to be used on the warm pavement at temps above 7°C.
All-season tires are very hearty and can do well across a broad range of conditions, even light snow and ice. But, when the winter weather gets really out of control, a set of dedicated snow tires is recommended for safe driving. Conversely, when snow tires are designed to remain soft in the coldest conditions to have as much tread contact with the road surface as possible – even if that road surface is covered by snow and ice.
It’s inadvisable to keep winter tires on your vehicle through the spring and summer because their softer composition will cause the tread to degrade much faster. Also, the increased contact between the tire and the road will negatively affect fuel economy.
Tips For Storing Seasonal Tires
Tires are meant to handle a lot of different conditions, right? Surely, it can’t matter how they are stored until the next time they’re needed. Nothing could be further from the truth. Improperly storing your seasonal tires could lead to the rubber drying out or otherwise getting damaged to the point where they’re useless and need to be replaced.
- Clean Them Up: When you take the tires of your vehicle, make sure to thoroughly wash them to remove dirt, grime and brake dust. Use warm soapy water and rinse them clean. Be sure they are totally dry before putting them away.
- Under Pressure: A lot of people have their seasonal tires on their own sets of wheels. If you’re one of them, make sure they are inflated to the pressure rating recommended by the manufacturer. Also, consider hanging the tires from hooks if they have their own set of wheels.
- Keep It Dark: Tire storage bags keep light and air away from the tires, both of which can degrade the rubber. Make sure you remove as much air from the bag as possible before sealing it up as tightly as possible. Under no circumstances should you store your tires outside, even if they’re covered.