The snow is melting. The air is getting warmer. The birds are coming back from the south. In other words, it’s that magical time of year when you switch from winter tires to summer tires. OK, so maybe it’s not that magical. In fact, switching tires can be a real chore. Some of you are already complaining, “What’s the point? As soon as the summer months are over, I’ll just have to put the winter tires back on again!” There is, though, not just one good point to changing your tires, there’s a bunch of them.

Different Weather Conditions Require Different Tires

Look, if you’ve been driving in Canada for any length of time, you know how radically the weather can change driving conditions. Driving on snow and ice is nothing like driving on blacktop, whether it’s wet or dry. These different seasonal weather conditions each require different types of tires.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

When it comes to performance, never mind safety, grip is everything. If your tires won’t grip the road, you’re driving headlong toward a wreck. It’s all because of the nature of rubber. Frigid winter weather conditions mean that rubber compounds stiffen up, and stiff tires won’t grip the road. Winter tires are made of softer rubber compounds that remain flexible and keep their grip even in subzero conditions.

Well, that same softer compound means that winter tires tend to get shredded in the warmer summer weather. They’re too soft for their own good when it gets hot. If you don’t want to end up riding on rims, your tires’ lifetime will be slashed, and your tire budget will skyrocket. Not only that, but this greater pliability means that they try to grip too much, and that really degrades performance. Road trips during the warmer months just won’t be as much fun.

Tread Pattern Is Important, Too

Then there’s the matter of tread. Winter driving on icy roads is pretty consistently the same, so the tires you use for it have a tread pattern optimized for it. The summer, however, will expose you to a variety of road conditions, from dry to underwater. The patterns of summer-time tire treads are designed to be a lot more flexible for handling such varying conditions. And that, too, means much higher performance.

The Handling Benefits of Summer Tires

When you use the right tires for the season, You’ll see much better cornering. In fact, you’ll see much better handling in general thanks to the better grip. Braking and acceleration will both improve dramatically too.

It’s Time for a Change

It’s time for a change… of tires. But there’s no reason you have to do all the work yourself when there are plenty of qualified professionals out there to do it for you. So head on out to your nearest tire dealership, pick up the right tires for the summer months and have the dealer change the tires for you. If you’re in the Saskatoon area, come see us at TreadNation. We’ll be glad to help improve your driving experience.