Most winter tires will last 2 to 4 years. That said, winter tires are like any other replaceable component on your car. The lifespan is directly related to the quality of the tires that you buy and how you use them. Tire construction, rubber softness, UV exposure, and vehicle weight all factor into how long your tires will last.
Winter tires are usually designed to work best within a narrow temperature window and their durability is often drastically reduced when you leave them on too long into the spring, or put them on too early in the fall (or fail to swap them out in summer altogether!).
In short, what you get out of a winter tire has a lot to do with what you put into it. If you buy a super-soft ice tire and drive it through the spring and summer? You’ll be lucky to see two winters out if it. Store them in the backyard all summer? Same goes. However, if you store your winter tires properly (indoors, away from light and heat) and limit them to winter use only, then several seasons of safe driving is possible!
One caution – unlike most summer tires, which will become grippier in dry conditions as they wear, winter tires require tread depth to work. The average winter tire produces its maximum traction on snow and ice when it’s brand-new. Once a tire reaches 6/32″ of tread depth, it’s probably time for a replacement.
You can still benefit from the tire’s softer compound and winter-oriented construction — in other words, a snow tire at 4/32″ is better than an all-season or summer tire at 4/32″ — but there’s no sense in driving on worn tires.
Remember that most tire manufacturers design their winter tires so that the rubber gets harder as the tire wears down; this feature helps dry-road longevity but ultimately hampers winter traction as the tire ages.
Not sure if you need new winter tires? Bring your vehicle into Birchwood Tires for a comprehensive tire inspection.
Book an appointment for your Winter Tires here.