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Blog > 5 Reasons Not to Drive on Winter Tires During the Summer

5 Reasons Not to Drive on Winter Tires During the Summer

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Man checking car tire — Auto Shop in Lakeside, FLWinter tires are great for the cold months of winter because they help provide better traction on snowy and icy roads. When it comes to the hot months of summer, though, it's not a good idea to drive on winter tires. You should have your winter tires replaced with all-season tires once the weather is warm. Here is why you shouldn't drive on winter tires in summer.

More Tire Wear
Winter tires aren't made to be used in hot weather, and they wear down faster once the temperature heats up.

Once the temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it's time to change winter tires. The rubber in these tires is optimized for temperatures below about 40. Above this temperature, the tires become soft and wear down more quickly as they drive on hot pavement.

For this reason, alone, winter tires should be replaced with all-season tires in spring when temperatures are regularly above 40 and the risk of snow disappears. Even if the increased wear isn't noticeable in summer, you may notice it come winter.

After going all summer, winter tires will be much more worn down than they were before the summer started. Depending on how much you drive over the summer, they might not even be fit for another winter of driving because the tread may be too low.

Lower Fuel Mileage
Winter tires aren't as fuel-efficient as all-season tires. Even in winter, a car with winter tires won't get the same fuel mileage as it would if it was equipped with all-season tires. Winter tires' treads are designed for traction in snow and ice rather than efficiency. The extra drag that comes in warm weather as winter tires become soft only further decreases fuel economy.

The reduction in fuel economy has a double-effect. It's rough on the environment because your vehicle needs to burn more gasoline, and it also hurts your wallet. You'll find yourself filling up at the gas pump more often if your car has winter tires on during the summer.

If you switch to all-season tires, you will be saving every time you drive. The environment will appreciate it, too.

Worse Handling
Because winter tires are softer in the summer, they negatively impact handling. When rubber is soft and squishy, it's not as responsive as when it is firm.

A car with all-season tires will handle much better than an identical car with winter tires once it's warm and there's no snow. The difference is especially noticeable on wet pavement when handling is decreased by driving conditions.

Longer Stopping Distance
Similarly, the softening of winter tires' rubber in hot temperatures also negatively affects stopping distances. When tires give, they aren't able to bring a car to a halt as fast as they can when their rubber is firm. As is the case with handling, this is particularly true on wet pavement when stopping distances are naturally increased by conditions.

The differences in handling and stopping are more than a mere performance issue. In an emergency, a car's responsiveness is of the utmost importance. Even a slight handling issue or one extra inch of stopping distance can be the difference between hitting something—or someone—and avoiding an accident.

Higher Risk of a Blowout
Finally, there is an increased risk of having a blowout if you're driving on winter tires in the summer. As they wear down and heat up, there's a higher likelihood that they fail during a drive.

If you're still driving on winter tires this summer, contact us at All American Discount Tires to get some all-season tires that are fit for hot-weather driving.
Blog > Signs You Need Your Car's Tires Aligned

Signs You Need Your Car's Tires Aligned

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Man checking car tire — Auto Shop in Lakeside, FLIf you're not sure just when you should get your car's tires aligned, you aren't alone: many car manufacturers don't list alignment as one of the maintenance needs of a vehicle. Your tires are often aligned when you first have them put on your car, but after that, it's often up to you to watch for the signs of when they need to be aligned again.

Your car's alignment is very important to helping extend the life of your tires and ensure they all wear more evenly. Alignment is the process of adjusting your tires so they touch the ground evenly and often involves rotating your tires for even wear as well. Here are common signs you should watch out for so you know just when to take your vehicle into a tire shop for a few adjustments, and ways you can help your tires last longer.

Your Car Won't Drive Straight

One of the most common ways to tell if your car needs to have its tires aligned is to test how "straight" it drives when you are not manipulating the steering wheel. At low speeds and with no surrounding traffic, gently touch your steering wheel while letting your vehicle drive straight on its own. If you have an alignment issue, your car will pull to the right or left, causing you to correct your vehicle promptly.

You may also notice your car veering off in either direction slightly when you are driving on long stretches of highway or freeway roads. This symptom can be an alignment issue, or your tires could be turned the wrong way, which happens occasionally with regular driving and can be repaired easily. Make note of when you first started noticing these changes in your car and which direction it swerves off to, and relay this information to your mechanic.

Your Car Has Encountered a Few Pot Holes

While, in some cases, an alignment problem is due to regular wear, it can also be caused by certain roadway circumstances. Driving through pot holes, hitting a curb, going over speed bumps or train tracks at fast speeds or bouncing off a sloping driveway can all impact the way your car's tires operate.

If your car has encountered some rough driving lately, then pay attention to these following signs of alignment or other tire issues that you should bring to your mechanic's attention:

  • Shaking steering wheel when driving (vibrations)

  • Uneven tire wear (waves or exposed tread)

  • Veering off to one side when driving

Your mechanic can align and re-balance your tires for you, making your car a safer and more enjoyable vehicle to drive.

How to Make Your Tires Last

The way you drive can greatly affect how long your tires last. Avoid pot holes, ditches and bumpy roads to keep your tires in healthy condition. You also want to make sure to always keep your tires properly inflated and have them rotated regularly to ensure even wear. Your tire shop expert can show you how to properly inflate your vehicle's tires safely.

Stick to tires that are appropriate for your vehicle's make and model. Tires that are too large or small can wear out quickly and can also cause damage to your vehicle. Talk to your auto or tire shop expert to see what tires will work best for the way you drive and the type of vehicle you have. Whether you need your tires balanced or you want to have your alignment checked, our experts at All American Discount Tires are here to help you. Explore our large variety of tire brands for replacing your current tires as well.