If you haven't noticed, its becoming much more pleasant outside- temperatures are increasing, trees are starting to flower, things are looking green! What's that mean for you? It's time to get your summer tires out and remove your winter tires from your vehicle.

Many of us in the north country run two different sets of tires, depending on season. With the amount of snow some of us get (or ice), specialized tires are increasingly being used. While winter tires function much better than all season tires in these areas, they can also be a recipe for disaster if you leave them on too long.

Winter tires are designed very different from summer tires. More snow/ice grip, more siping, and softer rubber all mean winter tires won't last long if you drive them on hot, dry, roads. Winter tires also have a higher rolling resistance on dry, warm roads, so running your winter tires when temperatures have climbed will mean a shortened life.

Switching your tires generally can be done with the right equipment in less than thirty minutes, and even doing it yourself you can have it done in less than an hour. If you don't know how or don't have the proper equipment, be sure to bring it in to your dealer, who shouldn't charge you more money than for a tire rotation (if you have two sets of tires and wheels). If you only have one set of wheels but two different types of tires, the switchover will be much more time consuming and more expensive. With only one set of wheels for your vehicle, tires must be dismounted and the summer tires remounted, which usually means new valve stems, re-balancing, and reinstalling the tires.

Either way, driving on winter tires during the summer is a danger for multiple reasons, so be sure to find some time soon to make the change over. Summer is upon us, and it's time to change to summer performance tires to get the best out of your vehicle!