FACT: Once the temperatures are consistently over 7 degrees it’s time to take off your winter tires! Driving winter tires consistently in warm temperatures will reduce your fuel efficiency and dramatically increase wear and tear because winter tires are made out of softer materials which allow them to remain flexible and grip the road in cold temperatures. Additionally, they just don’t perform as well as their summer or all-season counterparts in warmer temperatures, compromising handling and, ultimately, safety.
When switching your winter tires they should be examined to determine if they are suitable for next winter, or need to be replaced. Similarly, before re-installing your all-season or summer tires you should first inspect them to make sure that they are up to the job.
INSIDER TIP: Mount your winter tires on separate rims.
- Stretching (when mounting and removing) tires off and on your summer wheels every year is actually pretty hard on a tire and could compromise the rim-tire seal over the long run. Also, every time you switch tires, you run the risk of scratching the alloy finish and allowing corrosion to begin.
- Paying to have those tires mounted and removed twice a year can end up costing more than the purchase of steel wheels or modestly priced alloys after a few years.
Check Tread Depth, Wear and Pressure
Your tires should be examined regularly for tread depth, wear and pressure. All of these factors will impact performance, efficiency and safety. Recommended minimum tread depths will differ between winter and summer or all season tires; talk to your service advisor for his/her best advice. Be on the lookout for an uneven wear. This could indicate a misalignment or other supension problems. Finally, check the tire pressure of all four tires monthly and adjust as necessary. Tire pressure monitoring systems can be a great help but vary in their accuracy and the degree of info provided. And don’t forget to check your spare!