Are Summer Tires Worth It?

summer tire installation

Summer tires are definitely a popular choice for those looking to get the most out of their vehicles. While it might seem easiest to just go with all season tires and not have to worry about changing them, you’re definitely leaving performance and even safety on the table when you choose a year round tire.

What’s The Difference Between Summer Tires and All-Season?

Summer tires are also called performance tires, and this is no accident. They deliver more grip, traction and handling to your vehicle. The formula of rubber they use is specifically engineered for warmer weather, whereas all-season tires can provide pretty average performance in warm and cold temperatures, you get much better results when you use both summer and winter tires respectively.

Should I Purchase Summer Tires?

While you might be thrown off by the term, performance tires, these models of tires aren’t just reserved for performance cars, although that is always a great pairing. In fact, any car can benefit from added grip, the increased confidence that goes with more traction is really something to appreciate. Many luxury vehicles come standard with performance tires.

All Season Tires VS. Winter Tires

Of course, if you’re going to invest in summer tires, it only makes sense to make a winter tire your alternate when the colder months come around. Dedicated rubber for snow and ice, especially in New England is a highly recommended addition because you aren’t compromising when it comes to grip in low temperatures.

If you already have a set of winter tires for snow and ice season, then performance tires are truly the best choice to keep your vehicle at its best for the rest of the year. Both summer and winter tires are specially designed to perform with optimal grip in each of their respective seasons.

However, you do have to be proactive when it comes to switching between your summer tires and your winter tires. Switching out your summer rubber too early can wear out your snow tires prematurely. On the other hand, getting caught in the snow with performance tires should be avoided at all costs.

Contact Boston Motor Werks

If you have any questions about performance tires, or If you are considering getting a new set for your vehicle, give us a call at 617-489-0291 or contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Everything to Know About Snow Tires

snow tires

The first snow has already fallen here in Massachusetts! Many luxury car owners don’t think snow tires are something necessary for their vehicles. Snow tires help your car stay stable while driving on snow and ice. They can prevent accidents and help you break better in slippery conditions. Here is everything to know about snow tires and why you should consider them:

What Makes Snow Tires Different?

If you didn’t know, all-season tires do not have a deep tread. Many car owners in New England leave their all-season tires on all year long, when they are only meant for 3/4 seasons. You can still drive with all-season tires during the winter, but using snow tires will give you a better grip on the road and make you feel safer while driving. 

Do I Need Snow Tires?

If you live anywhere that gets below 40 degrees for a consistent amount of time in the winter, you should have snow tires. Since we are in Massachusetts, snow tires are a necessity to get through the unpredictable winters. Using the right tires for each season will allow them to last longer.

When Should I Be Changing To Snow Tires?

Depending on how severe the weather is in the fall, you might not have to change to snow tires until the beginning of December. Some people choose Thanksgiving so that they have a consistent date. Anything in the late fall should be fine! Try to get them on before the first harsh snow. 

How Do I Care For Snow Tires?

Keep your same snow tires around longer by providing maintenance for them. You don’t want them to wear out quickly. Be sure to check your tire pressure because colder temperatures can decrease it fast. Make sure you get them rotated and aligned when needed. Do not use two regular tires and two snow tires together. This is not a good mix! Both types of tires will get more wear and tear on them if you choose to do this. Some people think it’s okay to have snow tires in front and all-season tires in the back. 

How Long Do Snow Tires Last?

Since snow tires are used for just a specific season of the year, they should last you a while. Since they help you with traction, they can wear down fast, but it might not be obvious when you look at them. Make sure to get them looked at after each winter season to make sure they are okay for the following winter too!

Contact Boston Motor Werks

Boston Motor Werks is here to help you with maintenance, repairs, and servicing of your luxury vehicle. Contact us to learn more about our services. Call us today to speak to one of our experts!

The Boston Motor Werks Guide to Complete BMW Winterization

The weather is about to start cooling down, and soon it will be winter. Sub-zero temperatures, ice, and snow will all combine to create dangerous driving conditions. Some of these factors will also negatively impact your BMW’s performance. And then there’s the salt. Boston uses an enormous amount of salt on the roads in order to keep them driveable. But salt is corrosive, and can damage your BMW’s paint and finish, as well as the exposed parts and metal beneath the car.

“Out of sight, out of mind” can create serious headaches when it comes to driving during a Boston winter. Here are the most important items to check on your BMW if you plan to do so, and want to minimize the toll it takes on you and your vehicle.

Battery

Cold temperatures do bad things to batteries. Cold batteries lose starting power, and cold engines take more power to turn over. As a result, starting your car may become impossible. Your trip will end before it even gets started.

Have your battery load tested to ensure it’s capable of starting your car during the well-below-freezing temperatures we’re sure to see this winter.

Tires

Keep your tire pressure at its recommended level. Too much or too little air in the tires will reduce the amount of rubber making contact with the road. Cold weather reduces air pressure in your tires (around 1 psi per 10 degrees), so be prepared to put more air in (or let a bit out) depending on the weather.

Depending on where you’re driving, snow tires may be a good idea. Snow tires are made of softer rubber, with tread patterns designed for increased grip in snowy conditions. They won’t stop you from sliding out, but they will help.

Check with a quality area mechanic to determine whether investing in snow tires is a good value for you.

Brakes

Whether or not you plan to change tire types, you need brakes that function properly in winter more than any other season. Inspect your braking system to ensure you have all of your stopping power available when you need it.

Antifreeze

Antifreeze will help keep your engine from icing over, and protects it from corrosion. But antifreeze loses its effectiveness over time. If it’s been a while since you’ve changed it (not just added more, but put a full volume of new fluid in), plan to do so before the temperatures drop too much.

Keep in mind that engines require a mix of antifreeze and water, which may be adjusted for cold weather climates. If you’re not confident in adjusting the ratio, your mechanic should be able to take care of it for you.

Oil

Oil thickens as temperatures drop. Thick oil doesn’t lubricate or move through a cold engine as efficiently as it is meant to. It used to be the case that switching to a lighter weight oil was recommended for any model of vehicle. However, this may not be appropriate for your BMW.

Consult your owner’s manual for winter oil recommendations. If a change of oil is required, the proper weight will be listed.

Washer Fluid & Wipers

Rain & snowfall do not concern themselves with your schedule. They can and will show up during your commute, adding decreased visibility to the hazards you have to deal with. Don’t crash because you can’t see out of your windshield!

Water may do the job during the warmer months, but it’s a horrible solution to winter windshield woes. Frozen water in your reservoir and hoses is bad; frozen water on your windshield is worse. Replace it with a winter-ready solution so you don’t get caught out with no way to see what’s in front of you.

In the same vein, check your wiper blades. Many wiper blades aren’t meant to last over a year, and they will take extra punishment during the winter. If they’re showing signs of wear and tear, or you notice they’re not performing as they should, replace them with new blades.

Lightbulbs

Speaking of visibility: functioning lightbulbs are a must-have for road safety. If your BMW is sporting traditional head/tail lamps (not LED lamps), check to ensure all of your bulbs are working properly.

Interior Protection

Snow and ice that stick to your boots, clothes, and belongings will melt in your car. Water isn’t great for your interior; and salt is worse. Protect your car’s interior with appropriate accessories. Rubber floor mats can keep salt from your carpets, and seat covers will do the same for your leather.

Emergency Kit

A responsible driver will always have some emergency supplies in their vehicle. In the cold Boston winter, consider adding seasonal items such as heavy/insulating blankets, spare snow boots and jackets. If not already part of your emergency kit, also consider adding flares, a radio, engine oil, washer fluid, coolant/antifreeze, and an LED flashlight.

Salt damage prevention

Salt damage is a real concern for Boston auto owners. The winters are already rough, but the salt corrosion can do significant damage to the paint and the exposed metal parts of your vehicle. The best way to keep your BMW in its best condition is to avoid as much of this salt damage as possible. If you will be driving your vehicle this winter, it will be exposed to salt; here’s how you can minimize its effects on your car.

Preventative wash, wax & sealing

Waxing and sealing is what will protect your car from salt corrosion; but the car has to be cleaned first.

Right before temperatures begin to drop, have your car’s exterior thoroughly cleaned with water and a car washing detergent. Don’t skimp out and use dish soap, as it will strip your paint’s finish. Be sure to have the undercarriage cleaned as well.

Once the car is cleaned, have the paint waxed and sealed, and have the undercarriage sealed. Pay close attention to the brake and fuel lines, as they are the most vulnerable to salt damage.

Maintenance wash, wax & seal

Unfortunately, the initial wash and wax may not last you the whole winter. This will depend upon how much you drive and how often the roads you use are salted. If the salting is heavy, return trips may be necessary.

Some car washes will provide steam cleaning and undercarriage cleaning in addition to standard washes. Once clean, have the car re-waxed and re-sealed to restore the protective coatings.

Thaw wash & wax

Finally, when the winter has run its course, the snow starts melting, and the DOT stops salting the roads, give your car one more wash to remove whatever salt you haven’t previously removed. A nice wash and wax will keep your paint and components protected, and have your BMW ready to enjoy the Spring.

When Should I Change My Snow Tires

This is a common question we always receive from customers come the end of winter/the start of spring. Seeing how we living New England and the weather is so unpredictable, it’s tough to provide clients with an exact date on when they should swap out their snow tires for summer tires.

We advise all of our clients to wait until the threat of any snow is completely gone; anyone remember the April Fool’s Day snow storm we had a few years ago?! Many people jump the gun and remove their winter tires the first warm weekend of the season; stop and take a breath, and remember why you purchased these snow tires in the first place, for safety!

Being caught in a spring snow storm without your tires is never a good time, nor is it safe! Summer tires are at their best, when of course the weather is warm; they don’t offer much traffic during cold and snowy weather.

For more information about when to remove winter tires or any other BMW service questions, please give Boston Motor Werks a call at 617-489-0291.