Get the Most Life Out of Your Studdable Winter / Snow Tires

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

Studdable Winter / Snow tires are used by many who experience harsher than average winters in far north climates or higher altitudes. Introduced in the 1960s, studs help enhance winter traction on ice-covered roads. They chip the icy surface through vehicle weight and centrifugal forces while driving. Studs consist of two primary parts. A tungsten carbide pin is the element that protrudes beyond the tire tread and contacts the pavement surface. The outside part of the stud is a cylindrical metal jacket or body that is held in the tire tread rubber by a flange at the base.

This type of winter / snow tire requires a bit more maintenance and break-in compared to others. As studded tires are driven, the studs are designed to wear at a rate similar to the tread rubber. Below are some helpful tips in getting the most life out of these tires.

  • Slow driving, typically no faster than 31 mph without hard acceleration, aggressive cornering and hard braking is recommended for approximately the first 60 miles. This allows the studs to seat properly.
  • Do not exceed 62 mph for the next 250 miles. This allows the lubricant used to install the studs time to evaporate and the rubber to conform to the stud. If driven too fast, even after a break-in period, you risk ejecting the stud from the tire.
  • Rotate at the beginning of every winter season or every 4,000 miles, whichever comes first. The rolling direction of the tire should not be changed. This means rotating the tires front to rear on the same side.

For more information on Studdable Winter / Snow tires, read "Studded Tires for Winter Driving."

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