When do you install your snow tires?

Not open for further replies.
Feb 25, 2013
Just curious what everybody uses to determine when to install their snow tires for the season?

With all the recent threads regarding winter tires, tires being sold out, etc. 2 of our 3 cars still have their all seasons on and I keep looking at the weather saying "maybe next weekend".

Point of reference here - 8-10 inches of snow the day before Thanksgiving, two days prior to that (11/24) it was apparently a high of 72F and this past week we had a high of 55F one day (65F where I commute to) - it was a miserable drive with snows on.
Usually thanksgiving week or a week before.

We generally don't get any appreciable amount of snow until the end of December / early January. I try to wait until the temperature will consistently be below 40F
Originally Posted By: mikered30
There could be a nor'easter hitting NY Tuesday...

Yeeeaaah... guess I might put the Xi3s on the second car this weekend after all, just hate doing it when there are days forecasted for 50F+ still.
Here in upstate NY, I go a bit early and put them on Veteran's Day or so. When I've waited longer, I end up doing this in the snow.
If you're about snow tires, they should be on now. I just do a M+S type tire. One of my 'life lessons' as a young pup was working at the tire shop=first snow-the line of cars for getting snows on went out of the parking lot=many people procrastinate!
I don't wait for the first snowfall but rather when
nightime temperatures are below freezing meaning the
probability of icy roads in the morning.

Besides, most all-season tires become very stiff close
to freezing temps, ride quality and road grip suffers.

Last edited:
Today the snows went on. Looks like average daytime temps for the rest of the season around here will be below 45F.

This will be the last season for the snows mounted on wheels for the Mazda 3i. (5-6/32) Lots of tread left on the Bridgestones for the CR-V. I'll wait until the TPMS indicator on the Honda goes off to use the ATEQ tool to send in the codes for the sensors mounted on the winter wheels.

A safe season to all.
I wait until the first time I see snow on the forecast within a few days, and then put the winter tires on right away.
when the daytime highs average below 40-45f,

If A large snowstorm/icy weather is approaching,

or the middle of December.

Whatever comes first

This year was mid november, I wanted to break in the new blizzack ws-80, and we had icy/snowstorm weather predicted.

Next year I'll probably try to hold out until at least dec 1st

I do have the oem no-seasons, I love their MPG but they are somewhat anemic in the winter traction dept.
Between Thanksgiving and 1 December on my Miata. Vw has pretty aggressive looking all season tires, no plans for knobbies on it.
As soon as the weather forecast has more than a dusting of snow in it and more cold behind it. Varies from year to year, but generally mid to late november.

They come off in the spring when the snowpack is melted and there is consistent warm weather in the forecast. A fluke warm day isn't enough... That's been as early as mid march and as late as the end of April.
A study said that below 7C (45F), snow tires are better than all seasons.

So, as others, it is based on average temperature falling below this, or snow or frost forecasts.
Putting the tires two weeks too early will not change the life of the tires, but two weeks too late could change my life and those of others around me.

On this one, I play it safe.

In Quebec, from December 15 to March 15, it is mandatory to have snow tires on. The problem, the law does not look at in which shape they are. For different reasons, some people now drive with snow tires year long.
When average temperatures are in the 50's or lower for good. That equates to around Nov 1st here. A week later we got an unexpected 12+inches and the tire shops were slammed.
Not open for further replies.