Winter / Snow Tire Break-In

Thursday, January 19, 2012 by Gary Stanley
Winter / Snow Tire Break-In
Snow has hit many areas of the country much later than normal this winter. If you've just recently installed your new winter / snow tires, keep in mind, like other tires, they have a break-in period. 

The very outer part of a tire's tread contains a release compound and/or lubricant. During the tire manufacturing process, this part of the tread helps to keep the tire from sticking to the hot tire mold as the tire cures. 

For break-in, we suggest a few hundred miles of gentle acceleration, cornering and braking in order to wear off this compound and get a feel for how your winter / snow tires handle compared to your non-winter tires. For more information on how to properly adjust to your new set of winter / snow tires, read "Breaking In New Winter Tires." 

An important aspect of the break-in period is for the driver to become acclimated to how these new tires feel and perform. During this process, drivers should understand that winter / snow tires do have different levels of dry grip, road feel and handling compared to summer and all-season tires. This is because winter tires have more tread depth and more aggressive open tread patterns, as well as rubber compounds that remain soft in winter's freezing temperatures. Take this time to adjust your driving style accordingly and learn how the new winter / snow tires will react to your steering inputs.

It's important to note that there are special break-in procedures for studded tires and you can find the necessary steps for breaking in studded tires by reading "Studded Tire Break-In."

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