When is it time to remove your winter tires?

All season tires

As the winter is progressing, one might wonder when it is time to change back to all-season, tires. If you have all weather tires, you don’t have to change at all and can use the tires all year round. If you have studded tires and date limitations apply, then you have to change after the date when you will have to have winter tires on your car and before the date when they can’t be used anymore. The key however with these dates are that there is no need for winter tires anymore. If you still need winter tires, the date can be argued. Winter tires should always be used if there is a need for it. If there is still snow or ice on the streets, then it is not safe to drive if the tires haven’t officially been approved for winter conditions and have the severe service emblem. Don’t use all-season tires during winter conditions, as it is not safe and despite that the name sounds like they would be ok also during the winter season, they are not approved for winter use and are not safe to use.

So if you have all-season tires on your car and you end up with winter conditions then you should refrain from driving. So you should keep the winter tires on for as long as you have winter conditions or if there is a risk that winter weather will return. Once you believe that winter has passed for this time, it is time to change tires. If you have non-studded tires, you don’t have any dates to worry about, so you can wait some extra days just to be on the safe side that snow doesn’t return. Winter tires outperform all season tires in winter conditions, but also as soon as the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. So as long as it is cold you should keep them on.

You should always check your winter tires to ensure they are in good condition and that they are not damaged or worn out. If the tread depth drops below 5/32 inches it is time to change them for new winter tires, as their key properties drastically drop once they wear below this. So that means you will need to replace the tires even if it is close to the end of the season. You don’t want to increase the risk of being in an accident just because you decide to wait. You are dependent on the slushplaning prevention properties and the braking distance, which both decline with decreasing tread depth.

You should check that the inflation pressure is correct. If you have low pressure, rolling resistance increases and the tires will wear out faster and the fuel consumption increases. The pressure decreases with declining temperature, so you have to check the tire pressure on a regular basis when you stop to fuel up your car at the gas station. You should also do a visual examination of the tires to check if they are free from visual defects.

 

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