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RX8 In New Engalnd.. Tire Swap

Old 04-15-2017, 09:59 AM
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MA RX8 In New Engalnd.. Tire Swap

All- I recently moved to New England, and have a question about tires. The spring and fall weather here is, shall we say, confused. Last week it was 80 degrees and this week it was below freezing again. When do you typically do your winter/summer tire swap? I guess the question is.. what is worse: driving a few days in 80 degree weather on winter tires, or driving a few days in 30 degree weather on summer tires (assuming it's not snowing anymore). Any thoughts?
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:55 PM
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When winter tires get hot they wear out faster.

When summer tires are too cold they have poor traction....

In the safety and cost department it's better to drive the snow tires until it stays warm enough. The tires are cheap to replace....crashing the car is a lot more expensive
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Old 04-16-2017, 01:08 PM
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^ What he said. Driving on winters when it's warm just costs you undue tire wear. But driving on summers when the temps approach 40F could cost you your car. Or worse.

Last edited by New Yorker; 04-16-2017 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 04-16-2017, 02:40 PM
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It depends...

I agree that summer tires get slippery in the cold, while winter tires will stick just fine when it's warm, but will wear out faster. However, I would not say that driving on summer tires if it's 40F outside is likely to cause you to crash your car; it depends on how careful you are and how well you handle oversteer. I learned very quickly that summer tires don't have much traction in cold weather, since my commute used to involve getting onto the highway with a sharp right turn onto the on ramp, followed by max acceleration to get up the ramp. This is a fun maneuver if there is no traffic in front of you, of course, but I also learned very quickly what oversteer feels like when I tried this in 40 degree weather on summer tires. The rear end slid right out, but fortunately, there is plenty of room to correct on this particular ramp, and I had fun doing that periodically.

I found that if I was driving my summer tires in cold conditions, I had to drive my car like it was my minivan; slower acceleration and braking, slower corners, just less grip all around. Doing that was perfectly safe, but I had to drive significantly differently. I also never drove my summer tires when it was cold plus wet, snow, slush or anything like that. That combination would be just nuts. Cold, completely dry weather is manageable, but that's as far as I'd push it.

Final thought: since I keep my RX-8 in the garage most of the winter, I don't put many miles on my winter tires. Therefore, wearing them out a bit extra is no big deal, and probably a good idea to use them up before they get too old and brittle. So I follow the same guidelines as mentioned already - swap to winter tires as soon as cold weather starts arriving, even if there are warm days still left, and swap to summers only when it's really unlikely to have cold weather coming back. New England weather is too unpredictable to really know for sure when winter is over though, so just be careful if you find yourself caught in the cold with summer rubber on the car. Find out where the limits are somewhere safe with lots of room to recover. Don't find it out the hard way when you smack into something!
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