Look Out For the Signs You Need New Winter Tires

A stock photo of a snow-covered road.

When Should You Replace Winter Tires?

Winter tires are important for safe driving during the treacherous, snowy, and icy months of the year. Davis Chevrolet has repeatedly made the case for getting a set of winter or seasonal tires. However, now we want to remind people that winter tires can last for a long time, but they don’t last forever. So, when should you replace winter tires? Of course, there is no real hard and fast rule about a time frame for getting new snow tires, there are too many variables at play for that. Instead, it’s crucial for drivers to inspect their winter tires for the signs. Let’s take a look at some helpful information.

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Snow Tire Tread Depth Information

As a review, snow tires differentiate themselves from other types of tires in a few ways. First, the rubber compounds are specially designed for high performance in cold temperatures (below 7° C). Next, winter tires often have deeper tread patterns that not only provide grip on slippery surfaces but also help move moisture away from the tires. Other than experiencing a puncture, you will need to replace your winter tires when the tread depth breaks down. 

The easiest way to check the depth of your winter tires is to pull a toonie out of your pocket. When the bear is facing to the right, if the tire tread touches its feet, you have plenty of rubber left to use. If the rubber only reaches the words ‘Canada’ or ‘dollars’ (depending on the coin’s orientation), you should contact Davis Chevrolet for a new set of winter tires right away. Take a look at the table below for more precise measurements using a tire tread depth gauge.

Tread Depth (mm) Percentage of Tread Wear
9.5 0% (new)
7.1 25%
5.6 50 % (Replace now)
3.2 75%
1.6 100% (Very Dangerous)

How Long Do Winter Tires Last?

It would be easy to think that a set of winter tires will last forever because you only use them for a few months of the year. However, that simply isn’t true. There are a lot of factors that go into determining how long your winter tires will last. Driving over dry pavement a lot or driving on underinflated tires will cause the treads to break down faster. 

The best time to shop for new winter tires is before the snow flies. The second best time to find winter tires is right now. If you’re in the market for a new set of seasonal tires, make an appointment with the Davis Chevrolet Service Department, today.