Winter Tires vs Summer Tires: What’s the Difference and When to Switch

June 4, 2018 12:17 pm Published by

Anyone who’s ever spent time around cars knows that they are flexible machines that can be adapted to suit a variety of tasks and conditions. So it stands to reason that, as the seasons change from cold and wet to dry and warm, cars also need to be fitted to suit the conditions that they are being driven in. Luckily, getting your car ready for the summer is as simple as switching your tires once the last bits of winter melt away. Below you’ll find a handy guide to walk you through the process regardless of the skill level or experience you have with cars.

When to Switch

Choosing the right time to switch to summer tires can be quite difficult, as unpredictable weather often leads to wild swings in temperature and meteorological conditions. Still, most experts agree that having 10 days in a row of above-zero temperatures usually signifies a changing of the season. Don’t wait too long, otherwise you run the risk of damaging your winter tires by using them on dry and warm pavement. That’s because winter tires are engineered to work best in low temperatures and on ice and snow covered terrain. Summer tires, on the other hand, are made out of a hard rubber compound, and can take a lot of heat before incurring any damage.

Where to Find Summer Tires

Once you’ve decided to make the swap, the next step lies in figuring out where to get the appropriate tires from. You can, of course, purchase new ones, but they’ll be significantly more expensive and won’t offer all that many benefits compared to second-hand tires. If you’re looking for a great deal, be sure to visit one of the many U Pull & Pay self-service salvage yards that are scattered around the country. You can also shop online to find the prices available at each individual branch. What’s more, summer tires are useful in every part of the world, so they’re an investment that will always pay dividends.

How to Make the Swap

After you’ve selected the tires of your choice, it’s time to get cracking and make the actual tire swap happen. For this, you’ll need a proper car jack and a block of wood to prevent rolling. Be sure never to place any body part underneath your car and take the time to properly torque your new wheels on. Once they’ve been affixed, check for any differences in tire pressure before starting your vehicle. If need be, you can always outsource this job to a local garage or simply ask a handy friend to do it for you.

Now that you know the basics of switching winter tires for summer ones, you should have all the confidence you need to successfully go through this process if you haven’t done so already. Most regions have rules and deadlines in place governing the use of specific tire types at various points throughout the year, so be sure to do some adequate research and avoid incurring any potential penalties or fines along the way.


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This post was written by Jonathan Kling