When is the right time to winterize your tires?

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) –  As of this weekend, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles says, drivers are allowed to install snow tires with metal studs. How early is too early?

Before the first flurries of the season, it’s typical for chaos to ensue at local tire shops like Fox Tire Co. in downtown Buffalo. Cold weather is just around the corner.

President, Eric Fox, said, “This would be considered our playoffs. This is absolutely the busiest time of the year. It’s what we look forward to, and we pray for snow!”

Because for Fox, more snow, means more business. And with flurries in the forecast, area drivers may be relieved to know studded tires are now permitted. But Fox says studs are now rare, and he recommends an ice compound tire.

Fox said, “the rubber compounds have become so advanced today that studs are kind of like VCR’s, almost like hula-hoops, they’ve become outdated.”

You can drive around with studs from October through April, but not into Pennsylvania or across the border into Canada. So whether you use studs or snow tires when is the best time to winterize? Fox recommends changing over your tires between the end of October and the beginning of November.

He said, “snow tires, the rubber compounds are ideally designed for the cold weather. You don’t want to leave them on for too long you want them most effective when you need them. Try to limit it to the winter months.”

The DMV is also reminding you to review safe driving tips ahead of cold weather, and to get your car ready.

“Like any other year, just be prepared. Make sure you have your snow tires on in timely fashion and your car winterized, and prepared because the last two winters have been so bad!” said Fox.

The DMV and Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee recommend a few tips for winter driving. This includes turning on car headlights when using windshield wipers, allowing defrosters time to work before driving so you can see and avoiding driving during ice or snow storms unless absolutely necessary.

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