Can You Use Winter Tires All Year?

Winter-Tires-Year-Round-Blog-Image

 

One of the hardest decisions nearing the end of winter is whether it’s time to take off your snow tires. There’s no shame in the fact that some of us leave it a little longer than necessary. We may even begin to wonder if it’s worth the hassle. You’re not the only one wondering if you can use snow tires all year.

 

Don’t worry. We’ve got your back. Meineke is here to help with all your tire needs!

 

Are you ready for the short answer?

 

No. You shouldn’t use winter tires all year, and we are here to tell you why.

 

What Types of Tires Are There?

 

Let’s clarify some tire basics so you’ll understand them better.

 

Snow Tires

 

Snow tires are made for navigating snow and ice. They come in two styles, studded and studless. Both types are specifically designed to have deeper treads and extra “grip” features to help keep you safe in snow and ice. Their rubber is also engineered to maintain flexibility and tire pressure in freezing temperatures.

 

Snow tires are a very good idea if you live in an area that regularly sees snow and temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. 

 

Summer Tires

 

Summer tire rubber is a different formulation from snow tires. Their rubber is designed to give you the best grip, flexibility, and shape retention during much higher weather temperatures.

 

If your summer temperatures are routinely above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, talk to your tire technician about whether summer tires would benefit you.

 

All-Season Tires

 

All-season tires are designed to help your car handle every weather scenario you might encounter on the road—within reason. They are created to give a good balance of grip for snow and rain, resistance to temperature changes, and even tread wear and tear.

 

All-season tires are ideal if you live in an area with all four seasons and very mild winters where snow is an occasional treat.

 

What Happens If You Use Winter Tires All Year?

 

Snow tires like snow and cold. They don’t respond well in warmer weather. Remember, they are designed to grip snow and ice and to hold their shape, tire pressure, and other safety features when the temperatures drop. In the heat? Not so much.

 

Here are the top 7 reasons to switch out winter tires when the weather warms up.

 

  • Wear and Tear— As the summer months hit, the rubber in snow tires can become too flexible. They can’t hold a uniform wear pattern and may not hold their pressure and form appropriately. A snow tire will not wear evenly on hot, dry roads.
  • Handling— Believe it or not, those same gripping safety features that give you better handling on snow and ice can cause handling issues in the summer. They do not grip on dry, warm pavement. 
  • Mileage— A good snow tire can last around eight winter seasons. The longer you drive them in warmer weather, the faster they wear down and become unreliable for the next season.
  • Safety— With compromised wear and tear and handling, you are at greater risk for tire-related vehicle mishaps and accidents. 
  • Noise— Winter tires can be loud when not buffered by the snow and ice they are designed to grip, especially studded snow tires.
  • State Laws— Studded snow tires are tough on dry roads. Some states have laws against driving on them beyond a specific time of year.
  • Money— The whole point of investing in winter tires is to help keep you and yours as safe as possible when the snow and ice hits. The more your snow tires are driven in warmer conditions, the faster they wear out and the quicker they need to be replaced. 

Have Questions About Your Tires? We Can Help!

 

Visit a Meineke near you and get your car and tires inspected to improve and maintain fuel efficiency!

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