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The Risk of Leaving Snow Tires on After Winter in Utah

Don't Let Your Snow Tires Stick Around After Winter

As the spring weather arrives and the snow melts away across Utah, it's important to take off your winter/snow tires and replace them with all-season or summer tires. While snow tires provide excellent traction during Utah's harsh winter conditions in areas like Utah County, Salt Lake County, and Park City, leaving them on too long can actually be detrimental to your vehicle and safety.

Increased Wear and Tear

Snow tires are designed with a more aggressive tread pattern and softer rubber compound that helps grip on ice and packed snow. However, this softer compound wears down much faster on clear, dry roads. By leaving snow tires on in warmer temperatures, you'll experience accelerated tire wear, which leads to needing replacements sooner.

Reduced Fuel Efficiency

The softer rubber and deeper tread on snow tires creates more rolling resistance compared to regular all-season tires. That extra resistance requires more power from the engine to keep the tires rolling, resulting in worse gas mileage.

Longer Stopping Distances

While snow tires excel at gripping slippery surfaces, they actually have longer stopping distances on clear, dry pavement when compared to all-season or summer tires. If you need to make a sudden stop, the extra stopping distance can increase your risk of a collision, especially in heavy stop-and-go traffic around Salt Lake City.

Decreased Handling and Stability

The tread designs, patterns, and softer rubber on winter tires can cause diminished handling performance, stability, and cornering ability at higher speeds on clear roads. This sloppy handling can make your vehicle harder to control, especially on the winding mountain roads around Park City.

Potential Legal Issues

Some states have laws prohibiting the use of snow tires when conditions don't call for them. For Utah drivers with studded snow tires, it's possible you can be ticketed for leaving them on too long after Winter ends. Spring and summer driving inevitably involves very different road conditions compared to winter. Just as you put on snow tires to stay safe in the winter months, it's equally important to take them off once winter ends. Stay safe, get better performance, and extend the life of your tires by swapping out your snow tires once temperatures warm up across Utah County, Salt Lake County, Park City, and surrounding areas.

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