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When To Use Winter Tires

When To Use Winter Tires

When Should I Put Winter Tires On My Car?

The question, “When should I put winter tires on my car?” might sound like an easy one, but there are a few factors to consider before switching from all-purpose or summer tires to winter tires. Before you find yourself waiting for hours at an auto shop during the season’s first big snow storm with 90 of your closest friends, consider these things.

Frozen Tires are Dangerous

Like windshields, car doors and your gym motivation, summer and all-purpose tires freeze in winter. Frozen tires can lead to erratic behavior on icy, snowy, or rugged roads, which is certainly a situation you should strive to avoid.

Winter tires, on the other hand, are designed with a unique technology that allows them to stay flexible in freezing temperatures, improving traction and grip, even when braking. Imagine walking on a frozen pond wearing winter boots with thick rubber soles. You’re probably still standing, right? Now imagine walking on a frozen pond wearing high heels.  You probably won’t stay on your feet long! Car tires work the same way.

Temperature Guidelines

  • Switch from all-purpose tires to winter tires as soon as the temperature consistently dips below 45 degrees.
  • If you have summer tires on your car, switch them over to winter tires as soon as the temperature gets below 50 degrees. These tires have a higher freezing point because the rubber is designed to handle very hot temperatures.

Pay Attention & Make an Appointment

Unless you recently moved to a different side of the country (or have developed a weather-changing super power), you know that your winter future consists of freezing temperatures, snow, slush and ice. Just admit it!

Mark your calendar and make a tire-change appointment well in advance of freezing temperatures and / or the first snowfall. Consider monitoring conditions with the newspaper, phone apps or your weather-predicting knee pains to make sure there are no surprises. Your future self will thank you.

For more information on winter tires, check out our article on finding the right winter tire for your vehicle. Be sure to make an appointment at your local Sears Auto Center for winter tires soon, so you don’t get caught in a storm without them!


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