Spring is finally here, and you can’t wait to get rid of every reminder of winter, including your vehicle’s snow tires. You’re probably wondering when the best time is to undertake the ritual of changing to summer tires. The simplest answer is when there’s no longer the threat of winter weather in your area. Of course, there’s always the possibility of one last surprise snowstorm; but once temperatures remain consistently above 40 degrees, it’s a good idea to put on summer tires.
You don’t want to change too quickly to summer tires because they’re not as flexible as winter tires when the temperatures are cold, which causes them to become hard and lose grip. However, you also don’t want to be driving winter tires on hot pavement, as the soft rubber wears more quickly. This creates more friction, which in turn requires additional power and leads to a reduction in gas mileage.
Here are some other factors that you may need to consider before changing to summer tires.
State and Local Restrictions
Because studded winter tires can cause significant damage to roads, some states have enacted laws restricting their use. Some states allow you to use them all year long, others allow them only at certain times of the year or only in certain areas of the state, and others don’t allow them at all. Be sure to check your state and local laws to make sure you comply.
Keep Abreast of Your Local Weather Forecasts
Although the calendar may signal spring, many areas experience at least one late-season snowstorm. Keep up on your local forecasts, especially the monthly and seasonal forecasts that may indicate how much and what type of precipitation your area might receive in relation to the predicted temperatures. Don’t forget the Old Farmer’s Almanac! Even though the publication has been around for more than 200 years, its predictions have proven to be at least 80 percent accurate.
Take Into Account Your Travel Plans
Do you plan to travel to a mountainous area in the near future? If so, leave on your winter tires until your vacation is over. We all know that temperatures are colder in higher elevations, and what might be a rain shower back home could turn into a snow shower at a higher altitude.
Still Undecided? Call Us
If you’re still unsure as to when you can safely remove your snow tires, call us. With our experience in tire repair, we’ve seen the damage done when tires are replaced too soon or too early.