Time to Re-Tire / by Erin Wade

Last December I noted that I was running a bit behind on my tire-changing schedule, getting my snow tires onto my car later than I intended. This spring is no different.

We've had unusual weather here in Northern Illinois - our spring has seen multiple snowfalls late into the season, with the most recent just a few weeks ago, well into April. So - in this case, my delay is only partially due to procrastination. It seemed wise to wait a bit, to avoid having to contend with the white stuff in my all-weather tires.

As the weather gets warmer, though, one can start to see how the traits that make the tires so effective in the cold are a limitation during the rest of the year. As I understand it, the rubber in these tires is explicitly designed to stay softer in the cold than do other types of tires. This means that they become softer still when the temperature rises. Takin an off-ramp at speed becomes an interesting experience of feeling your car seem to roll to the side of its tires, bouncing and bobbling in a fashion that is, shall we say, not comforting.

And so, dear friends if you, like me, have been waiting for just the right time to get to this task, I say today is the day. For, although it's clear that this evening it will seem once again that winter is coming, it's actually done with us in the Midwest. For now.