When to change your winter tires to summer tires is not always a question with a clear answer—especially with our unpredictable Wisconsin weather! But it’s a question that needs to be answered, especially when you’ve invested so much of your time and money into your snow tires. Here’s what you should ask yourself before you remove your snow tires, and why.
Is it going to snow again?
Your put snow tires on your car for a reason—to get you through the snow safely—so wait until the weather forecast does not include any chance of snow any time soon. We’re not going to lie to you: that’s not always easy to do, especially when we get an occasional snow surprise in March or April (sometimes May!). Try not to take off your snow tires too soon. You don’t want to get stuck in a spring snow storm on all-season tires when you bought a set of snow tires for safety and increased traction.
What is the temperature?
When the temperatures start hitting the upper 40’s or low 50’s on a regular basis (note the regular part, we know we get occasional spring weather in February and March), it’s time to take those snow tires off (and not a moment too soon).
Snow tires are made of a soft rubber compound that can wear heavily when the road temperature gets too warm. With this in mind, make sure you remove or make an appointment to have your snow tires removed before the roads dry out and the temperatures heat up. If you wait until summer to take your snow tires off, your snow tires are going to be too worn to use again next winter.
How much of a pain is it to get them off (and on)?
If it’s easier to take your snow tires off and on, your decision to remove your snow tires is simpler than a car owner who has to break the bead, mount, and remount their snow tires every time. If you want to make swapping your snow tires and all-season tires easier, consider purchasing a second set of rims specifically for your snow or all-season tires. Make sure you purchase rims that are the right size for your car or truck, or ask your mechanic to find a set of right-sized rims. Your mechanic can mount your snow tires (or regular tires) to your second set of rims so you don’t have to go through the hassle of breaking the bead, removing and remounting tires every fall and spring. While the cost of a second set of rims is one more expense, it can save the cost of a tire because you don’t have to worry about damaging your snow tires or all-season tires during the removal and mounting process.