Minnesota has hot summers and freezing winters. No matter what time of year it is, you want to make sure you have the right tires on your car. Then, they won’t get damaged, and you’ll be safe on the road.

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The three most common tire types are summer, winter, and all-season. You might not know the differences, or you might be wondering when it’s the best time to swap your summer or all-season tires for winter tires. Here’s a helpful guide.

Summer Tires

Summer tires work best in warm weather conditions, wet and dry. They’re made from a softer rubber compound and have large tread blocks. This gives you more contact with the road, so you have maximum grip and handling power. They also have deep grooves that provide better traction on wet roads and help keep you from hydroplaning.

Winter Tires

Winter tires are made with a rubber compound that remains soft and flexible in freezing temperatures. Their tread also has tiny zig-zag slits, called sipes. They open up as the tires roll and move water and snow to the side, so the the tires can stay in contact with the road. All of these features give you better grip and traction on snow and ice.

All-Season Tires

All-season tires perform adequately on wet or dry roads, or roads with light snow. They have summer and winter tire features. Their rubber stiffens at lower temperatures, but doesn’t soften in high temperatures. They also have sipes, so you can stay in contact with the road when you’re driving on snow and ice. These tires work best in areas that don’t have harsh winters.

FAQ: When should I switch between summer and winter tires?

As a rule of thumb, you should swap out your summer or all-season tires for winter tires when the temperature drops below 45 degrees. If its warmer during the day, but you only drive in colder mornings and evenings when its below 45, you should also swap them out. You can switch back to summer or all-season tires when the temperature stays above 45 degrees the whole day.

FAQ: Is it dangerous to drive with summer tires in the winter, or with winter tires in the summer?

When temperatures drop, the soft rubber compound on summer tires hardens, and you lose traction. They don’t have as much grip, either, no matter if roads are wet or dry. Colder weather can also cause their tread compound to crack or the edges of their tread blocks to chip. The rubber on winter tires also wears more quickly in the heat. So, using tires in the wrong season can severely damage them, and it’s more dangerous for you.

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Tires For Sale in Forest Lake, MN

If you have more questions about tires, or you need to buy some new ones, come visit us here in Forest Lake, MN! You can also give us a call or check out our website to learn more about our tire services. If you’re in the market for a new winter-ready vehicle, you can stop by our dealership or check out our online inventory to see which models we have in stock. Many of our new vehicles come with our awesome Lifetime Powertrain Warranty. We’re located near Coon Rapids, Roseville, and White Bear Lake, so stop in today!

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*To qualify for the Lifetime Powertrain Warranty the purchaser must select a qualifying vehicle and finance that vehicle with Forest Lake Chrysler Dodge Jeep & Ram.