It’s that time of year. Old Man Winter is just around the corner. Those of you with snow tires, or those of you thinking about getting snow tires are wondering when to make the move.
There’s no absolutely right answer but we’ll try to give you a few tips to simplify the process, and make sure your winter tires are on the ground when you need them.
Just like getting running shoes for running, golf shoes for golfing, and ski boots for skiing, there is nothing like having a purpose-built, season appropriate tire on your car. Your winter tires are going to work better in the winter than all-season or summer tires, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that winter tires actually perform poorly in warm temperatures and dry conditions when compared to an all-season. Many summer tires actually outperform winter tires in rain at warm temperatures.
Winter tires are made from a special compound that is designed to work well at lower temperatures by staying supple when all-season tires would be hardened by cold. As a result, wear is accelerated when winter tires are on the ground during summer temperatures. For this reason we don’t like to put our winter tires on until the high temperatures are below 70F. Waiting until the first or second week of October should do it.
You also don’t want to wait too long and end up frantically calling every shop in town trying to get your winter tires put on in a storm or the night before the forecast is predicting one. Of course we all know how unpredictable the weather in Colorado can be, but as a rule we almost never see much snow before Halloween on the Front Range. For peace of mind, we try to get our snow tires installed by the first week of November.
Plan ahead. Appointments will start going fast for tire swaps—making yours a week or so in advance will save you a lot of time and frustration. Feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email if you have specific winter tire questions.
Photo by Amanda Slater