Temperatures are cooling across the country and fall will soon roll into winter. It’s around this time each year that we get asked the same question “when should I put my winter tires on?” Well, it’s not Halloween, Thanksgiving or the first snowfall as many might think. Actually, the best time to have your winter tires installed has more to do with the temperature than the date. Toyo recommends installing your winter tires once the temperature in your area is regularly 7 degrees Celsius or less.
Why 7 degrees Celsius?
Below 7 degrees Celsius, the rubber on all-season tires progressively hardens making them less effective as temperatures drop. On the flip side, this temperature is also when winter tires start doing their best work. If you regularly encounter ice, unplowed snow or slush, then you're going to need winter tires. Winter tires will give you the extra traction, braking and handling you'll need to confidently drive in all cold weather conditions. They have specialized rubber compounds and tread designs to handle the cold temperatures. The tread remains flexible to prevent snow buildup and help with traction on ice.
If you choose to install winter tires, be sure to switch all four tires, not just two. Using only two winter tires can cause a car to spin unexpectedly because of greater traction on only two of the wheels.
It’s best to play it safe and have winter tires installed not just early but on time. If you wait for the first sign of snowflakes to have your tires changed over, it could be days before you get in and you’ll be compromising your safety in the meantime.
At the end of the winter season, remember to remove your winter tires once the temperatures are consistently higher than 7 degrees Celsius. This will ensure your winter tires do not wear prematurely in warmer weather.