Spring Tire Care: When to Switch and Replace
Spring Tire Maintenance
Finally, the winter weather is clearing out. That means drivers should be taking a hard look at their cars and taking care of the maintenance that they’ve been neglecting. Common services after winter include oil changes, brake service, wheel alignment checks, and, of course, tire service. Here’s everything you should know to prepare your vehicle’s tires for spring.
When to Switch
Many people wonder when is the best time to remove their winter tires. The best guide is the temperature outside. At temperatures above 7℃, three-season tires provide better grip and braking performance than winter tires. Winter tires are made of softer, more pliable rubber. As the temperature rises, they become even softer, accelerating wear. So, if you want to protect your tires and prolong their effective life, you should remove your winter tires in April. But you should also consider when to replace your tires for a new set. Oh, and if you’re only running one set of tires, they should probably be all-weathers.
When to Replace
To find out how much more use you can get out of your tires, you measure the tread depth. This is easy, especially if you have a tread depth gauge. You just insert the measuring stick into the tires groove and read the depth. Between 3/32” and 4/32” you should consider replacing your tires as braking distance will already be affected. If your treads are shallower than 3/32”, you should replace your tires immediately. You should test the tread depth in at least four places along each tire. The lowest reading – not the average – is the correct reading for each tire. But tread depth isn’t the only thing you should worry about.
If you don’t have a tread depth gauge, you can use a coin from your change. Let’s use a nickel for example. Turn the Queen upside down (you treasonous dog) and insert the coin into groove. If you can see the top of her crown, then your tires are below 2/32” and you should replace them as soon as possible. Capital Ford Winnipeg has thousands of name brand tires for all makes and models. Find your tires here.
Once you have the right seasonal tires, with enough healthy tread, you need to inflate them correctly. Having correctly inflated tires has several benefits:
- Improves fuel economy
- Reduces the risk of flats
- Improves braking and handling
- Prolongs tire life
Even a 20% difference in air pressure can make a big difference, but that’s very difficult to notice with only a visual inspection. You should check check your tire pressure with an actual air pressure gauge once a month. Ideal tire pressure is different from vehicle to vehicle, and for winter tires and three-seasons. The correct number should be indicated in your owner’s manual. Note that the number indicated on your tire’s sidewall is the maximum not ideal pressure.