As the last of the snow melts and spring showers arrive, many drivers wonder if it is time to remove their snow or winter tires yet.
The general guideline is to change back to your regular tires when there is little chance of snow accumulation, but that can be difficult to predict in certain areas of the country. Western and Central New York, for example, may experience snowfall or other wintry conditions even after spring seems to have made its debut. If you remove your snow tires or winter tires too early and a spring snowstorm hits, you will find yourself driving in winter conditions without the aid of the appropriate tires.
Many people rely on the American Automobile Association (AAA) for roadside assistance and other services. The organization’s northern counterpart, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), addressed the issue of when to remove winter tires in a recent article for The Weather Network. “Silvana Aceto with CAA in south-central Ontario says it’s best to wait until temperatures are consistently above [44.6°F] before trading winter tires for all-seasons, which don’t provide as much control in winter weather. ‘In the winter, (all-season tires) lose their elasticity, and when that happens, it reduces your traction and results in longer stopping distances,’ she explains.
However, it is also important not to wait too long to remove winter tires. “Winter tires are made of softer rubber that does not hold up well on hot pavement, Aceto says. ‘They’re really not designed for use in the summer, and on a hot day the rubber will really become soft and your winter tires will wear out a lot faster.’” Softer tires also create more drag and friction, requiring more power to move the vehicle, therefore decreasing gas mileage.
Generally in the northeast, early April is a good time to take the winter tires off and get the all-seasons back on.
Remember to be mindful of the other issues that can crop up at this time of year. Potholes continue to be a problem and hitting them can cause significant damage to various parts of your car, including your tires, alignment, and suspension. When the snow melts, you can see – and avoid – them better, but a spring snowfall can obscure them and make it much harder for you to steer clear of these hazards. In addition, daily temperature changes can make the roads a little more unpredictable and drivers need to maintain constant vigilance to avoid problems. The roads may be a little icy for the morning commute, wet with the warmer afternoon temperatures, and very icy as the temperature drops again at night. Stay informed!
If Dunn Tire is storing your tires, we recommend you call ahead so the store can ensure your tires are out of storage and at the store waiting for you.