Can I take a trip cross country on my snowtires?

I live in the Adirondack Mountains in northern NY state. I have a 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis on which I mounted a set of 4 Blizzak snowtires when the snow started in October. We need to make a trip to Nashville, about 1000 miles each way, in two weeks and we are strapped for money. My dilema is whether the Blizzaks will overheat and self destruct on the long trip or not. I know they will wear really quickly and will probably be no good for next winter after the trip but my concern is if they will last for the trip, they are at about 85% tread. Hopefully our CD will be a big hit and we can just buy a new car rather than tires when we get home…hehe.

Sure you can. There are lots of people who leave the snow belt in the winter with winter tires on their cars and drive across country.


Thanks Tester!

I would not worry about taking this trip. Check the air pressure and drive at moderate speeds.

My son was in the same situation; he drove with his Kuhmo winter tires on all summer; they do wear out quicker though.

What was dangerous was Ford Explorer SUV owners driving fast with cleated off-road tires. Those things are lethal at high speed on hot pavement.

Enjoy your trip!

Thanks Doc! I feel better about the trip already. I’m new to this forum…you folks are really great.

Think about this, call around to the salvage yards nearby and see if anyone has wheels with summer tires on them that they will sell for cheap. Unfortunately, you can only choose from 2003 up.

Of course they’ll last the trip. It’s only about 3,000 or so miles across the country and you have 85% of your tread left. I assume you hoped to get at least another 3,000 miles out of the tires?

One caveat: if you’re headed through Death Valley take it easy. Winter tires squirm more than all season or summer tires, and that can generate excessive heat in an extreme climate.

Sincere best

This is not a life or death thing here. Snow tires are perfectly safe. The tread is more open and the rubber is softer so the tires will wear out at a faster rate than summer tires. You are not talking about a lot of miles here. The tires will be fine, you’ll have a nice trip. Worry about something else.

Thanks, I actually have the snowtires mounted on steel wheels and have bald summer tires on the original aluminum wheels. The summer tires are definitely not up to the trip and are almost smooth. I have access to a tire changer and balancer at work so I did some calling around and found a set of 4 used tires for $150 so I’m going to see if we can gather up our pennies and go that route. If not it’s good to know that the Blizzaks won’t build up excessive heat and blow out when driving 18 hours on bare pavement in potentially warm weather. Thanks for the comment.

Thanks Uncle Turbo,
I was mostly concerned that after several hours at highway speeds they might build up enough heat to potentially begin to break down. I’ll take your advice and worry about something else. We’re going to Nashville to record (we’re singer/songwriters) so there’s more than enough for my little head to fret over, hehe. Thanks again.

My truck had Glacier Grip tires on it that were ran all year long. Now it has Goodyear Wrangler AT/D2 tires on it which aren’t snow tires, but I would rather have snow tires in the summer, than my tires on any day.

What’s wrong with the Wrangler AT/D2s (sold only at Sam’s Club, I was told)? I have them on my Explorer, and couldn’t be happier. They are smooth, quiet, and have great tread depth. My truck uses 255-70R16. They are very decent on wet roads.

Blizzacks will make it fine, they are Q-rated(I think 85mph or 99 mph).

The problem is the expensive tread you paid for will wear extremely fast if warm over your drive(>50F). The tread is the equivalent to a sponge and really soft one in the warmer weather.

With pure winter conditions the tires(special winter tread) only last 20k miles tops.

Sure you should make it, but there are a couple of downsides.

You will wear the snow tyres , they wear faster in warm weather. I would not want to drive them long distances on dry hot roads. They will not handle as well as all season tyres. So you will end up with winter tyres that are worn and not too good for snow.

The note about the desert is important.  If you end up in really hot areas, I would be careful. (but then I tend to be conservative when it comes to safety)

The fact that they are sold at Sam’s Club only and cost $50-$70 less the much more widely available Wrangler AT/S (which is no great shakes either) is a red flag. Goodyear sells “exclusive” tires to Walmart/Sam’s Club. In this case “exclusive” means “built to a price.” I would not trust such tires. They very well may be okay, but the fact that nobody but the cheapest stores around sells them should tell you something about the quality of the tire.

I would not put much faith into used tires. Tires are a saftey issue. IMHO one should always get the very best tires he or she can. A set of decent tires for a 2004 Grand Marquis can be had for around $450-$500. More than $150 for sure. But then at least you know you are getting tires that weren’t someone else’s problem.

Your Blizzaks should be okay for the trip. You may experience significant wear on them though.

Guys . . . the OP said that the trip is from New York State to Nashville and back . . . . no deserts there. Easy trip, just watch the air pressure and change (if $$ allows) ASAP, if not wear them next Winter, they’ll have plenty of tread on them if they now have 85% and you’re only going 2000 miles roundtrip. Rocketman

You’re right. I overlooked that in my original answer. It was obfuscated by the boldness of the heading. Or perhaps the smear on my bifocals.

I take back my caveat.

caveat successfully rescinded…We’ll just act like it never happened. :slight_smile: