When should you put on your snow tires?

Courtesy of the Aroostook Republican

Courtesy of the Aroostook Republican

Much of Maine just got its first snow, and there’s more to come.┬áThe first step to avoiding the bank off the edge of I-95 is to put your snow tires on.

But, when should you do that? Just before the first snow? It actually has to do with temperature, rather than precipitation.

The Tire and Rubber Administration of Canada suggests that you start changing your tires when the temperature dips below 45 degrees. Their website reads, “once you can see your breath, it’s already time to put on those winter tires.”

Changing tires based on weather has to do with loss of rubber elasticity in cold weather, resulting in higher rate of tread loss. Also, install all four tires at the same time, to prevent understeer and oversteer.

But as a good Mainer, you probably already knew all this.

Auto repair shops get slammed right before and after snow storms, so make sure to pay attention to the temperature and get those tires on before it gets slippery.