When to Switch to Summer Tires

When to Switch to Summer Tires

March 13, 2024    Car Care

Spring is almost here – and you might be wondering when you should be taking your winter tires off.

There always seems to be a bit of confusion around when the best time is to take them off. Is it based on a certain date? Or a specific temperature?

Here in Manitoba, winter conditions and cold temperatures can sometimes continue well into April or May. That’s why it’s good to know ahead of time when switching out your winter tires is ideal.

Here’s the key to remember: it depends on the temperature, not a certain day on the calendar.


Plain and simple… when temperatures reach 7°C or higher (and stay there consistently), you can take off your winter tires.

Because winter tires are engineered to work best in temperatures colder than 7°C, leave them on if the temperatures are still in that range. Keep in mind that temperatures may be warmer during the day, but might fall below zero at night. That’s why it’s best to make the switch when the temperatures are consistently at 7°C during both the day and night.


Manitoba’s temperatures can fluctuate throughout March, April and sometimes even in May. But it’s important to remember that keeping your winter tires on too long is not a great idea.

If temperatures hit 15°C to 20°C and you still have winter tires on, it’s hard on the rubber. Winter tires have a softer rubber that will wear faster if driven in warmer temperatures.


On the other hand, taking your winter tires off too early means an unexpected snowfall or colder temperatures could hit after you switch – especially here in Manitoba. This could mean having the wrong tires for dicey winter driving conditions.

Again, this is why it’s important to pay attention to daily temperatures and keep your winter tires on to the point where you can reliably see them staying closer to 7°C.


As you can see, switching your tires at the right time can be a bit of a dance depending on where you live and how the weather changes. If you have chosen to keep your winter tires on a little bit longer or changed them slightly too soon, don’t fret too much. At that point, it’s most important to drive to the conditions and stay as safe as possible.


Another way to stay safe on the road is to maintain your tires. Here are 10 things you can do throughout the year to keep your wheels in top condition:

1. Measure your tire pressure at least once a month. Use a good-quality tire pressure gauge and measure the pressure when the tires are cold.

2. Check the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle. Before inflating your tires, check the tire information label normally located on the edge of the driver’s door, door post, glove box fuel door or owner’s manual.

3. Don’t use the pressure indicated on the tire. This number is the maximum pressure, not necessarily the recommended one.

4. Make sure air pump hose valves and tire valves are clean. Also, make sure the valves have caps.

5. Always measure tire pressure before going on a long trip. Driving on tires with improper inflation pressure is dangerous and can cause tire damage.

6. Once a month, inspect your tires. Look for uneven tread wear, cuts or cracks, bulges, foreign objects or other signs of wear and tear.

7. Rotate your tires regularly. Check your owner’s manual to find out how (and how often) your tires should be rotated.

8. Buy the most appropriate tires for your vehicle. Buy tires that will perform not only in your most common climate conditions but also in the most extreme conditions.

9. Register your new tires with the manufacturer upon purchase. This allows you to receive direct notifications from tire manufacturers in the event of a product recall.

10. Don’t overload your vehicle. The tire information label will also indicate the maximum recommended load for your specific car.


Maybe you don’t have the tools or would simply prefer to have someone else change over your tires – we get it! Our experts at Birchwood Tires would love to lend you a hand! Book your tire change today.

Rebecca Lake
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