The yearly rotation from summer tires to winter tires can become a hassle, especially living in Canada where we go from one extreme with weather to the other. After all, we only get a few months of summer a year, is it really that important to remove your winter tires? Absolutely. Here’s why…
Winter tires are built for the cold
Winter tires are specifically designed and manufactured for colder climates. Most things tend to harden and solidify when the temperature drops, and you can probably imagine what would happen if you were driving on four wheels that had hardened like plastic —there would be no grip and you’d be sliding all over the road. This is why winter tires have more rubber in them than summer tires or All Seasons, they need to stay flexible in colder weather and continue to grip the roads.
Winter tires also contain a substance called silica, which is very much like sand and helps with traction on slippery surfaces. The tread design on winter tires also helps with traction by directing snow and sleet away from your tires so it’s easy to brake and make corners. This design is made for cold, snowy roads –not spring and summer driving.
Switching tires saves you money
Because of the way winter tires are manufactured, neglecting to replace them with summer tires actually wears them down faster. Winter tires are specifically designed for temperature averages below 7°C, so the rubber and tread will wear down much quicker on the hotter summer roads. The result is that you’ll be forced to replace your winter tires sooner than if you had swapped them with your summer or all season tires. Not removing your winter tires could cause you to have to replace them every year.
Having two sets of tires may feel like a pain when you factor in the price, time to change them twice a year and nuisance to store a pair. But, in the long run you’ll save money. With proper maintenance, tires can last up to six seasons. When you do the math, you could save over $1000 when you change your winter tires compared to the cost of having to buy new tires every year.
Safety is a factor
Because winter tires are softer in warmer temperatures they break down faster, causing them to become greasy. This will make it harder to brake quickly, and let’s face it, in high traffic areas like Toronto or even Mississauga, tires are important when it comes to making that hard stop.
But not only is it a safety issue for the summer, if you drive with winter tires all year and they do live to see another winter, their effectiveness could be compromised. Most winter tires have what’s called siping – tiny cuts in the tire that give it even greater grip. If you’ve worn down the treads, it will be more difficult to brake in the winter.
Changing your winter tires in the spring might seem like a hassle, but the time and expense are well worth it. Removing your winter tires each season should be part of your regular vehicle maintenance.
Come into Xtreme Tire Garage today to change your tires and prepare for the Summer ahead!