Rumor has it that Colorado receives about 300 sun-filled days per year. While the exact number is debatable, one thing is for sure: there’s always plenty of fair weather for exploring. What most people tend to forget, though, is that some of those sunny days can change in an instant, giving way to a sudden torrent of rain, snow, or deep freezes. For this reason, it is always important to ensure your car is fitted with the correct tires for the season, or else a daily adventure could lead to a day of being stranded.
Summer Tires – May/June
During the summer months without snow (June, July, August), you have two options for tires to use, depending on your priorities: all-season tires, or summer tires.
Each has its own set of pros and cons. For instance, summer tires will give you more maneuverability and a better grip when it comes to damp roads, but all-season tires will provide more mobility if there is any snow around.
Regardless of your choice, a good rule of thumb is to refrain from switching out of purely winter tires until May, but hold off even longer if you intend to visit the mountains. Driving all-season or winter tires on a dry road can wear them down faster, but it is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
Winter Tires – October/November
Temperatures in the fall start to drop beginning in September, and while Colorado is known to have snow then, it is not, generally speaking, a significant enough amount to warrant switching to winter tires yet. In fact, the first snow in the Denver area typically happens around October 9th.
When you do change your tires for the winter, it is worth noting that you opt for purely winter tires and not for all-season tires, as winter tires consistently perform better in the snow.
Winter Tires Can Save You from Paying Fines
Few car service stations choose to change between summer and winter tires, instead opting for a good all-season tire. While good quality all-season tires might perform great, they might actually work against you in the worst cases. For instance, did you know that all-season tires require twice as long to stop on snowy pavement than winter tires do?
In the last few years, the Colorado Department of Transportation has created Operation TireSafe to raise awareness about the importance of winter tires, and includes a lesser-known law known as the Traction Law (Code 15). This law is put into effect during severe winter weather conditions, and applies to the entire state of Colorado’s interstates and state highways.
When the law is called to action, motorists will be required to have either snow tires, tires with the mud/snow (M+S) designation, or a four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle, and all tires must have at least 1/8” tread on them. If you fail to meet these requirements during an active Traction Law, you could be subject to fines between $130 and $650.
Fortunately, Pro Auto Care has teamed up with the Colorado Department of Transportation to provide deals on a new set of tires, which is just one more example of how our Tire Pros help to take care of you!
As a general rule of thumb, fall is the best time to buy winter tires, but keep in mind that Denver’s weather can be a volatile beast, and it’s important to stay ahead of the curve and prepare for the worst. So get in touch with us today, because your safety shouldn’t wait.