With the winter tire season (hopefully!) over for the year, it’s time to lighten up for spring.
Not only are all-season tires better suited for spring and summer driving conditions, but by switching, you’ll also save gas and boost the longevity of your winter tires, explains Chad Therres, manager of Aldergrove’s Super Steve’s Tire and Mechanical.
“The very feature that makes winter tires great for cold weather becomes a problem in spring and summer. As the weather warms, the rubber becomes too soft, reducing traction and stability, and wearing down way too fast,” Therres says.
All-seasons, however, are perfectly suited to the changing seasons, with tread designed to address spring rains and summer heat.
Check your tread
Goodyear suggests checking your tires’ tread depth every 5,000 kilometres, but what do you look for?
Tires have a “tread wear indicator,” Therres notes. When the tread wears even with this indicated level, the tire needs replacing.
“If you’re not sure what to look for, stop by the shop and we’ll be happy to measure the tread depth and see how much you have left,” Therres says, noting that driving with too little tread is a ticketable offence, in addition to being unsafe.
And don’t forget your trailer tires – while these typically last longer because they aren’t driven as much, a flat or blow-out quickly creates a dangerous situation.
When checking the tread depth, look also for cracking on the tread or sidewall, and for wear patterns indicating problems:
- Wear on both edges: Underinflation increases the wear on a tire’s outside edges and generates excessive heat, reducing the tire’s toughness. Soft tires also increase rolling resistance, reducing fuel economy.
- Wear in the centre: Overinflation increases wear on the centre tread.
- Cups or dips in the treat: This is most common on front tires, but can affect rear tires and indicates worn parts
- Sawtooth edges: Misalignment causes erratic scrubbing against the road giving tire edges a sawtooth-like appearance.
By ensuring your tires are properly inflated – check the sticker on the door post of your car
– you’ll also save gas, a welcome relief for anyone behind the wheel today!
Beyond tires, ensure your vehicle is roadtrip-ready by changing the oil and checking all the fluids, the air conditioning system and brake – a must after our rainy, snowy winters, Therres says.
Super Steve’s Tire and Mechanical is a family-owned and operated automotive shop in Aldergrove providing full mechanical services in addition to tire sales – including a lifetime of free flat repairs and rotations with four tires purchased. And if your travel plans include more than a spring roadtrip, Super Steve’s now offers Air Miles on tire purchases and mechanical services!