There are a few reasons why it could be tempting to not bother switching your winter tires out for the summer. Maybe you’re struggling to find time to take the vehicle in or you want to avoid the costs of having to pay a shop to switch them out. However, the reasons your not switching out your winter tires may be overshadowed by the consequences of riding on winter tires during the summer. In this article, we’re going to cover the risks of not changing your winter tires in summer and give you some tips for switching out your tires.
Winter Tires Reduce Fuel Economy in the Summer
Winter tires are designed specifically to be more malleable and change shape based on the conditions of the roads. Because of this, they create more friction and resistance as they warm up in the summer. This added resistance means the engine needs to work harder in order to rotate each tire, therefore increasing the consumption of fuel.
Snow Tires in Warm Temperatures
As you can imagine, snow tires are designed to be driven in cold temperatures, specifically under 7 degrees. They’re designed this way so that the soft rubber can get a better grip on the often slippery conditions that come with winter driving.
Using these tires in the summer will wear down the rubber fibres quickly as the hot pavement and friction are not designed to be ridden on by the winter tires. Riding on your winters in the summer heat can shorten the lifespan of the tires by 60%. So if you’re worried that changing winter tires for summer is expensive, you should reconsider as having to replace winter tires every season or two is much more expensive!
Winter Tires Don’t Handle as Well as Summer Tires in Warm Weather
When you’re driving, anything can happen and you may be forced to make a quick decision where you aggressively swerve out of the way to avoid a collision. In the summer, if you’re riding on winter tires and you’re forced to brake quickly or quickly swerve out of the way, you’ll have a harder time on winter tires. The soft treads in warm weather increase braking time and reduce traction for optimal handling.
Having summer tires in warm weather means having a firmer tire that grips the road better and makes handling easier and more accurate. Having summer tires on will also reduce brake time, making driving much safer for you and your passengers.
3 Tips to Save Money on Summer and Winter Tires
1. Changing Them May Be Easier Than You Think
Unless your tires need to be mounted on rims, switching your winters for summers is actually quite easy if you have the right tools. The only tools you need to switch your tires are a car jack to lift the car, a lug or torque wrench and wheel wedges. Doing it yourself will save you plenty of money over the years instead of paying a shop to do it for you twice a year!
2. Wait for Deals!
If you buy a vehicle in the spring or in the fall, chances are the dealership you bought from will have some kind of summer or winter tire promotion. Be sure to take advantage of this as dealers aren’t the only ones to promote seasonal tire sales! You’ll also find during both these seasons that online marketplaces will fill up with used winter and summer tires.
3. Think Long Term
If you take proper care of both sets of season tires, you’re likely to get upwards of six seasons out of them. If you’re more in the mindset of thinking short-term and not so concerned about switching your seasonal tires, you’ll likely need to replace them after 2-3 years. Having to replace your tires this often will be much more expensive than being diligent and taking proper care of your seasonal tires.