Traveling from Michigan to Northern Kentucky - Take off Snows Early?

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Aug 3, 2010
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I have a dilemma regarding a trip coming up next week that I thought I'd get some feedback on!...

I am driving six hours from Michigan to Northern Kentucky (40 minutes SW of Cincinnati) in my 2016 Accord and I'm not sure if I should take my winter tires off early before the trip.

I currently have a set of 17" Blizzak WS80s installed. When I am leaving and returning to Michigan it looks like it'll be in the mid 40s to low 30s with rain and snow - no problem here.

My concern is the highway driving through Indiana, Ohio and in to Kentucky where it'll likely get to and stay above 50 degrees. While in Kentucky I'll have a few one hour long highway drives during what appears to be high 50 to high 60 degree weather. I'll then make the six hour drive back a few days later.

I have a feeling I am overanalyzing things here, but I just want to make sure this wouldn't ruin the Blizzaks because they only have approx. 6k miles on them. Car will be lightly loaded with just myself and some luggage.

The "summer" combos are the factory 19" with all seasons. I like to wait until late April / early May to put these back on to keep the salt off, wait for the pot holes to be filled, worse in the cold / snow, DIY swap is more pleasant when it is warmer, etc.
 

MolaKule

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I have been in all of the states you mention during this time of the year and I would suggest keeping your winter tires on until at least April 15th. Born in Detroit and raised in KY.
 
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Tulsa Oklahoma
I’d leave them on, if you need them it’ll be worth it and I agree wear will be minimal, maybe get some noise canceling headphones for the noise though.
 
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There's absolutely no reason you couldn't make this trip with the all-season tires - winter tires are not required. You'll be on major interstate highways (I'm guessing I-65) 90% of the time. Would I hurry up and do the swap ? No....
 
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Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
I would only start to be concerned about excess wear of the Blizzaks at 70 F and above. Even 70 F is not much concern for only a few hundred miles. It is true they will wear faster if ran in hot summer weather.

I ran Blizzaks on both of our vehicles for more than 20 years. They are truly great winter tires. There were a few times when they allowed the vehicles we were driving to go without any problem while others were breaking rims by sliding into curbs, or side-swiping guard-rails because the drainage slope of the road combined with ice caused them to slide.

They saved the day for one of my brothers once when the road was iced over. His car turned without any problem, an identical make and model car behind him at the same speed slid and hit a cement wall.

Now days I run TPMSF rated BF Goodrich, and probably will go with TPMSF rated Michelin Cross-Climate 2 for next set.
 
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Joined
Jan 24, 2013
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Upstate NY
I would ditch the snows. I had the same tires on and drove up to VT, a three hour drive. Outside temperature reached 50*, and I kept on smelling rubber. Eventually I stopped to grab a coffee, and when I came back out I smelled it again. It was then I realized it was my tires, and confirmed by palming them and I could feel the warmth of them.
So if your traveling in above say, 45*, and you're speed is 70mph, you will warm those puppies up. I did another test to confirm, and yes, after 10 mins they were hot.
Before you say anything about pressure, wrong load ratings, etc.
Purchased brand new that fall, tires air was 38 psi, and the load rating was appropriate.

So ditch those snows. That was the only time I've ever used snows, and when I sold the car I had no need for them.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
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Suburban Washington DC
What are the chances of snow in April anywhere along your route? What are the chances the snow would be more than your all seasons couldn't handle? You're talking mid-west, not New England.
 

cutlassvillager

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Aug 3, 2010
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355
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Michigan
Wow, thanks for all the great posts everyone! The all seasons are a mixed pair (two OE Continental ContiProContact and two Vredestein Quatrac 5). I probably should've clarified, while not ideal, I'm not overly worried about encountering a bit of snow on the AS set(s). I'm planning to change this out for a set of four new matching tires, but I figured I'd get some use out of them before replacement. I think the Vredesteins were installed by CarMax before I bought the car with 13k so they only have a few thousand miles on them.

My main reasons for keeping on the snows a bit longer were to keep salt off the summer wheels, a little extra time for Michigan to fill a few more potholes and just time (I'd rather spend time doing other things this weekend before the trip). But, if the Blizzaks might end up wearing prematurely or getting unnecessarily hot, I'll probably switch them out before the trip.
 
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