If you’re thinking you can drive winter tires in summer, here are some reasons not to do it.
1. Winter Tires Can Wear Faster in Warmer Temperatures
Winter tires are made with a special rubber compound that helps deliver maximum grip in snowy and icy conditions by staying pliable in colder temperatures. Heat is really hard on winter tires, which are meant to be used when temperatures are ~45°F or below. Winter tires that are run on hot pavement tend to wear out much faster.
Winter tires are designed for traction, not longevity, whereas all-season tires are designed for lower rolling resistance and longer tread life. These tires are made with a rubber compound that is designed for a wide range of temperatures and road conditions.
Driving winter tires in summer can wear them out faster. That’s because the rubber compound in winter tires is designed for colder conditions, not warmer temperatures.
2. It Will Cost You, Not Save You Money
If you’ve made the investment in the added safety of winter tires, changing them out with a set of all-season or summer tires at the right time will help extend the service life of the winter tires — saving you money.
Compared to all-season tires, winter tires often have a higher rolling resistance, which can cost you at the gas pump.
3. Traction and Handling Issues
The softer rubber compound in winter tires won’t deliver as crisp of handling as an all-season tire. Cornering, acceleration, and braking may be compromised on hot, summer roads and higher temperatures.
When it comes to traction, lack of tread depth can be a bigger safety risk in winter. If you do use winter tires in the summer, you can expect those tires to have less tread for the following winter. That means your tires won’t channel snow, slush or water as well.
4. Swapping Tires Can Be Easy and Free
Swapping out winter tires for all-season or performance tires twice a year is easy. Some stores offer packages that help you save money on tire swaps. We may even be able to store your tires at select locations.
The Bottom Line on Driving Winter Tires All Year
There are many tires designed for specific seasons and driving conditions. Choosing the right option can save you money and deliver peace of mind with added safety. Stop by your local Tire Store and ask for help to decide on the right tires for your driving needs, including winter and all-season tires.