Watch for Falling Temperatures

Can you feel it? Winter is coming. Now, don’t get us wrong, we aren’t trying to wish away our last few weeks of sweet summer sunshine; however, this is the perfect time of year to begin preparing your vehicle for those cold, icy, winter months ahead. Our blog today is going to share important information with you about summer and winter tire maintenance.

Evening and early morning temperatures are already dropping below 10 degrees here in Calgary. It has been a generally cold summer and it may not be much different this fall. The kids are heading back to school and your calendar is beginning to fill up quick with activities, so when are you supposed to squeeze in that winter tire change?! When scheduling the perfect time to switch out your tires, we always encourage our customers to consider the temperature outside as opposed to the weather and road conditions. In Calgary, many people wait until the first forecasted snowfall to try and squeeze in the time to get their tires changed; sometimes this is early September and at other times it is late November. Instead of relying and gambling on the weather conditions, and then scrambling to find an appointment, we generally encourage people to follow the basic 7-degree rule.

What is the 7-degree rule?

Growing up in Alberta, the importance of winter tires has been engrained into our minds and so we perform the routine of switching our tires out in the spring and fall like clockwork. Sometimes, it can be hard to gauge the perfect time to switch them given our unpredictable weather. Generally speaking, when overnight temperatures drop below +7 degrees Celsius on a regular basis, it is time to put your winter tires back on. In the spring, when overnight temperatures are above +7 degrees Celsius on a regular basis, you can switch from your winter to summer tires. Nonetheless, do we really understand or know why it is so important to change your tires?!

Yes, the simple answer is the treads are different, but let us explain how this really works.

Winter and summer tires are designed and constructed with two very different goals in mind; for summer tires it is to handle the heat of the asphalt and for winter tires it is to grip the ice and snow. Winter tires are designed with a more flexible material, with flexible treads that can grip onto ice and snow, but when these brilliant features are used in warmer weather they become counterproductive. Winter tires will often spread and distort from the heat, which can dramatically reduce the life of the tire and put the passengers of the vehicle at risk. Studies have proven that winter tires in the summer months are actually more dangerous, as the braking time and control of the vehicle is largely affected by the “melting” tire.

Summer tires can also react poorly to conditions that they were not designed for, regardless of the depth of their treads. Summer tires tend to freeze in cold weather conditions which can cause the vehicle to start losing its grip. Summer and all-season tires can lose their flexibility and become so firm that they could be compared to hockey pucks. Regardless of the depth of the tread, a tire that firm cannot grip on anything.

Schedule an appointment with us at Advantage Ford to get your tires switched out as soon as those overnight low temperatures are below +7 or sooner if you prefer; we are fast, efficient, get the job done right and while we are at it, we will do a free comprehensive 49 point inspection to help ensure your safety this winter. Have any other questions about when to swap out tires, the right tires for your vehicle, or anything else, do not hesitate to contact us for more information.