Author Topic: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?  (Read 5028 times)

The Fake Cheap

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 305
  • Location: Canada
    • The Fake Cheap
Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« on: July 02, 2015, 06:04:55 PM »
I'm wondering if I should bother change the winter tires over to the all season tires on my wife's car.   I'm not sure it is worth the hassle as she only puts about 12,000 KM per year on the car, and these are mostly in city kms at low speed, with one trip a year where we do highway driving for about 2 hours each way.  I'm aware that the winter tires will wear faster in the warm weather, but how much faster?   I've also read that driving on the winter tires in the summer can potentially be hazardous, as the rubber will warm faster causing them to loose grip on the pavement.  How accurate is this?  Any comments from any car/tire experts would be appreciated. 

mskyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 693
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2015, 08:23:03 PM »
Maybe just change back to the all season tires and don't switch back to the winter tires if you're doing so little driving?

StartingEarly

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 427
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Wisconsin
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2015, 09:21:43 PM »
You're mostly in town, so the heat shouldn't be an issue unless you're in the southwest. I left snow tires on a pickup for three years before they were wore out if I remember correctly. Had a lot of 85 mph driving too, they will grip fine on the highway.

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2984
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2015, 09:55:02 PM »
Doesn't the extra road noise drive you batty?

Scandium

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2206
  • Location: EastCoast
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2015, 08:02:13 AM »
Worse milage?

pagoconcheques

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 190
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2015, 08:06:43 AM »
Winter tires are made of a different rubber compound to reduce stiffness and improve traction in cold temperatures--it's not just about the different tread.  In warmer temperatures you will have longer braking distances and inferior cornering response if you have to make an evasive maneuver (worse if you have a vehicle like an SUV with a high center of gravity). 

Change them. 

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2984
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2015, 10:00:58 AM »
Winter tires are made of a different rubber compound to reduce stiffness and improve traction in cold temperatures--it's not just about the different tread.  In warmer temperatures you will have longer braking distances and inferior cornering response if you have to make an evasive maneuver (worse if you have a vehicle like an SUV with a high center of gravity). 

Change them.

With this in mind, wouldn't you have increased liability if you were in an accident?

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3874
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2015, 10:36:17 AM »
Quit being lazy and put the three season tires back on.  It's not even a full beer job. :p

The "bad things" that can happen slightly depend on the tire type and area.

If you're running studded snow tires, the rubber is fairly hard, and your problems will come from the fact that running studded snow tires is illegal in the summer pretty much everywhere, there's not a huge amount of rubber on the road (since the open tread pattern to grip snow isn't great on bare pavement), and the studs don't grip asphalt very well.  You'll be down on grip, be wearing the road and tires pretty significantly, and it's loud (which, being paired with being illegal, isn't a great option - studded snow tires in the summer really stand out acoustically).

If you're running studless tires (Blizzaks or similar), they'll wear very quickly (as in, you can wear through the magic rubber layer in a few thousand miles, if that), and have the grip of a soft sponge in the summer.  They're pretty much hazardous to drive on if you have to make any sort of emergency evasion on dry pavement.

Put the all seasons back on.

ryan114

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
  • Location: Anchorage
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2015, 10:46:24 AM »
If you already own a summer and winter wheel sets, then why not swap them out? You'll still get the same mileage out of each tire and benefit from better performance in each season. Plus, the regular tire rotation and balancing you get at the beginning of each new season when the put on the tires will extend the life of your tires. I pay $50 in Alaska to change and balance wheels, which is well worth it to me. Maybe it's cheaper in Canada.

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3874
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2015, 10:47:13 AM »
Balancing?  I just own two sets of wheels...

The Fake Cheap

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 305
  • Location: Canada
    • The Fake Cheap
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2015, 03:26:39 PM »
Maybe just change back to the all season tires and don't switch back to the winter tires if you're doing so little driving?


The winter tires are great to have in the winter, due to the amount of snow we receive here in Eastern Canada.  We had almost 15 FEET of snow this year!  Plus this is actually my wife's car, and also the main car we use to transport the little one, so I like the added traction on the snowy roads.  I only started using winter tires about 5 years ago, and they make a HUGE difference in snow.  My car turns into a little tank in the snow with those bad boys on. 

The Fake Cheap

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 305
  • Location: Canada
    • The Fake Cheap
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2015, 03:31:52 PM »
You're mostly in town, so the heat shouldn't be an issue unless you're in the southwest. I left snow tires on a pickup for three years before they were wore out if I remember correctly. Had a lot of 85 mph driving too, they will grip fine on the highway.

Pretty much the opposite from the southwest, here in eastern Canada!  This is good to hear.  I should also say that I have had my winter tires on until about a week ago (not for snow related reasons haha) and the temps have been 20+ C many times and I have a highway commute each day, and have not noticed any issues with the winters on.

The Fake Cheap

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 305
  • Location: Canada
    • The Fake Cheap
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2015, 03:33:01 PM »
Doesn't the extra road noise drive you batty?

I should clarify that I don't have studded winter tires.  Yes, in that case the noise would bother me.  But these are only marginally louder I find, than my all seasons.

The Fake Cheap

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 305
  • Location: Canada
    • The Fake Cheap
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2015, 03:34:21 PM »
Worse milage?

I don't think there would be much of a mileage difference, I haven't noticed any and I keep track with most of my fill ups.

The Fake Cheap

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 305
  • Location: Canada
    • The Fake Cheap
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2015, 03:36:39 PM »
Winter tires are made of a different rubber compound to reduce stiffness and improve traction in cold temperatures--it's not just about the different tread.  In warmer temperatures you will have longer braking distances and inferior cornering response if you have to make an evasive maneuver (worse if you have a vehicle like an SUV with a high center of gravity). 

Change them.

With this in mind, wouldn't you have increased liability if you were in an accident?

I'm going to say no, because it is not illegal to drive on winter tires in the summer unless they are studded, in this province.  I know winter tires are mandatory in some provinces, but not in this one.

r3dt4rget

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 182
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2015, 03:43:34 PM »
I'm wondering if I should bother change the winter tires over to the all season tires on my wife's car.   I'm not sure it is worth the hassle as she only puts about 12,000 KM per year on the car, and these are mostly in city kms at low speed, with one trip a year where we do highway driving for about 2 hours each way.  I'm aware that the winter tires will wear faster in the warm weather, but how much faster?   I've also read that driving on the winter tires in the summer can potentially be hazardous, as the rubber will warm faster causing them to loose grip on the pavement.  How accurate is this?  Any comments from any car/tire experts would be appreciated.
I left my winter tires on into April this year as the temps approached 50 degrees F. I noticed a night and day difference in steering response and braking. Honestly, the car felt unsafe at highway speeds because the steering felt so sloppy. The tread is much softer and the spring/summer heat is not going to work well with them, at least on my particular tire brand. As soon as I swapped to all seasons everything was normal again.

This is a simple matter of effort. What benefit do you get by leaving them on? Maybe an hour of time? What benefit do you get by changing them? Safety and tire wear. You decide which is more of a priority.

The Fake Cheap

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 305
  • Location: Canada
    • The Fake Cheap
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2015, 03:44:46 PM »
If you already own a summer and winter wheel sets, then why not swap them out? You'll still get the same mileage out of each tire and benefit from better performance in each season. Plus, the regular tire rotation and balancing you get at the beginning of each new season when the put on the tires will extend the life of your tires. I pay $50 in Alaska to change and balance wheels, which is well worth it to me. Maybe it's cheaper in Canada.

That seems to be the going rate around here as well.  I don't have rims for my winters.   I'm thinking my wife puts so few KM on the car, is it really worth it spending $100 per year to bother with the swap twice a year?

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2386
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2015, 04:06:54 PM »
Doesn't the extra road noise drive you batty?

I should clarify that I don't have studded winter tires.  Yes, in that case the noise would bother me.  But these are only marginally louder I find, than my all seasons.

Now, maybe.  Just keep driving on them and you'll find out differently.

My husband's car was so crazy noisy we were talking about replacing it a few years ago (02 Honda Civic) and getting something much nicer and quieter.  It was too loud to talk easily on the 2 hr road trips to my folks.  The issue was highlighted when Lexus ran a promotion where they'd give you $25 pp for taking a test ride.  We did - and realized how noisy our car really was. 

Then my MIL took the car in w/o telling us and gifted us with new tires.  Night and day difference, at which point my husband suddenly recalled that "maybe he had left winter tires on it..."  (He didn't have a set of summer tires to obviously remind him.)  It's been a few years and we've happily resisted upgrading to a newer/nicer car since we "fixed" the noise and fixed the AC>

music lover

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 653
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2015, 04:20:52 PM »
If you already own a summer and winter wheel sets, then why not swap them out? You'll still get the same mileage out of each tire and benefit from better performance in each season. Plus, the regular tire rotation and balancing you get at the beginning of each new season when the put on the tires will extend the life of your tires. I pay $50 in Alaska to change and balance wheels, which is well worth it to me. Maybe it's cheaper in Canada.

Buy some cheap steel rims and leave the winter tires on them, and simply change them yourself. This also protects the nicer factory rims from winter driving.

Scandium

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2206
  • Location: EastCoast
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2015, 09:11:20 PM »
Worse milage?

I don't think there would be much of a mileage difference, I haven't noticed any and I keep track with most of my fill ups.
The winter tires have coarser patterns and give you worse gas mileage, that is pretty common, I think for all winter tires. Whether you notice or not I don't know, you generally get better milage in the warmer months anyway

The Fake Cheap

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 305
  • Location: Canada
    • The Fake Cheap
Re: Should I bother to change the winter tires on our car?
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2015, 01:25:25 PM »

Update:

So we recently came back from our vacation/road trip.  I am going to change the winter tires to the all seasons, mostly for safety reasons (reduced handling and increased breaking distances from what I've read).  I've noticed no difference in wear on the tires since our trip, about 700 KM at highway speeds with temps in the mid to high 20s.  I did notice some sluggish handling, but I thought that was just because I was driving a Corolla, but maybe not :).  Also of note, I set a new mileage record for that car, so I don't think the winters have much of a negative impact on the mileage.