When to Put on Winter Tires

Car tires on winter road covered with snow

Regular maintenance is the key to keeping your car in top shape, but seasonal shifts can change your routine in a big way. Learning when to put on winter tires is as easy as watching the local weather report in Montgomery. While some people install winter tires on a specific date every year, the best thing to do is to watch for the weather to drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit or 7 degrees Celsius. When the forecasts are consistently below those temperatures, you will reap the benefits of winter tires. We’ll help you create a cold-weather car care schedule, so you can avoid winter emergencies. Let’s take a look in our handy guide below.

Winter Tire Schedule

If you regularly live in an area that drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit you should be using winter tires since they reduce tension and improve traction.

  • Stability: Winter tires are made of a softer material, which means your tires conform to the Sharonville roads better and maintain better stability.
  • Traction: A set of winter tires can provide up to 20 percent improved snow traction when compared to an all-season design.
  • Flexibility: Winter tires stay more pliable in cold weather, while all-season and performance tires may get brittle in the bitter cold – which means you’ll need to order those replacement tires faster.

Winter Tire Pressure

Regardless of your tire type, maintaining good air pressure is important year-round. But, what should tire pressure be in winter? Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • When the temperature drops just 10 degrees Fahrenheit, your tires can lose about 1 pound per square inch (PSI) of pressure.
  • Tires lose about 1 PSI per month just from seeping air through the tread and rims. This can lead to drastic drops in air pressure – so don’t be surprised if your TPMS light pops on around the holidays!
  • We recommend keeping your tires within 5 PSI of the recommended pressure. You can get an inexpensive tire pressure gauge at our parts department if your vehicle doesn’t have a TPMS.

Winter Tires vs. All-Weather Tires vs. Snow Tires

A common misconception is that winter tires are simply “snow tires”. Winter tires are designed to stay soft below 50 degrees to prevent the rubber from cracking. The purpose of winter tires is not just to provide better traction in snow, but in cold, dry, or wet conditions as well. So, even if you live in an area where it doesn’t snow. Winter tires are still a good investment.

Are All-Season tires good for snow? All-Season, or all-weather, tires are a little more tricky. Since rubber technology has not been perfected enough to create a high-performing tire in temperatures ranging from freezing to 100 degrees, all-season tires tend to be less consistent. You will either find all-weather tires that have similar tire temperature rating to summer tires or ones that are closer to winter tires – not both. Since winter tires are designed for colder weather specifically, they are a better choice for driving in the snow.

Find Out More with Mercedes-Benz of Cincinnati

If you want to double-check the recommended tire pressure for winter or find a new set of winter tires, head to Mercedes-Benz of Cincinnati for all of your winter car care needs. Our team is ready to help, so contact us with your questions!

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