When driving during the winter, your vehicle needs extra traction and grip to handle ice. Besides switching your normal all-season tires for winter tires, studs are another option you can consider to significantly enhance the tires’ strength in decelerating, accelerating, and stopping.
Basically, studs are pieces of metal that are inserted all over the tire’s surface so your tire can dig into ice and have superior traction. They are like mini anchors that can claw into the ice, thus improving grip. These little metal pieces are strong enough to dig into pavement though, so they’re only used during the winter months.
Studding tires may be a job that’s better left in the hands of a tire service provider, but stud removal is definitely something you can do by yourself. In this article, we teach you how to remove studs from tires and examine whether or not you should stud your tires.
How do you remove studs from tires?
Step 1: Remove the tires.
Use a jack and a tire iron to unmount the wheels. You can place the car on mounts so that it’s protected while the tires are off. This is an easy step that you can find here as well.
Step 2: Lubricate the studs.
Each tire has about 80-100 studs, which you need to lubricate before you get each of them removed. It’s better to use the same lubricant that you use to mount your tires as other types may have a negative effect on the rubber. Why do you need to use a lubricant? Simply because they allow you to easily remove every stud without tearing a tire thread that holds each of them in place.
Step 3: Pull the studs.
The simplest tool you can use is a pair of pliers. Grab the top of a lubed stud with your pliers, twist, and pull it out. Repeat this process until all the studs are removed.
Step 4: Check for punctures.
After all the pieces are removed, it’s necessary for you to do post-stud removal maintenance. You can either submerge the tires in a water tank to see if there are holes. If you don’t have a tank, you can spray a window cleaner on the treads and look for air bubbles. These indicate if there are any areas in the tread that are leaking. Take a couple of minutes to look over the condition of your tires. If you see no air bubbles, clean the tread with water and fill it with air according to the suggested air pressure.
Step 5: Remount your snow tires.
Mount each tire back in place and set a time for weekly maintenance to be sure that there are no slow leaks.
How much does it cost to stud a tire?
You can only stud a studdable tire, as these have pre-molded holes on the tread specifically made for studs. Trying to put studs on a studless tire is likely to damage the tread.
By default, studdable winter tires are sold without the studs themselves. These must be bought and installed separately. As for the price, it takes about $15 to stud each tire.
How to stud tires?
A stud gun is used to insert the studs into the holes of a studdable tire. Once the gun “fires”, this expands the tread rubber, quickly puts the stud in, and returns the tread rubber to its original position to hold the stud in place.
Should you stud winter tires?
As previously mentioned, studding winter tires provide that extra friction to make riding on icy roads safer. However, you should only use studded tires during the winter as that is what most state laws allow. You should not use studded wheels in dry and wet roads, as they interrupt the tire-road interaction which may cause accidents. In some states, studs have even been completely outlawed because they damage road surfaces. You can find more information about your state laws in posts on your local website.
Nevertheless, companies that sell non-studded snow tires are continuing to innovate on their rubber compounds and tread designs to give vehicles the solid traction needed for driving on ice and snow. Most studless winter tires today are capable of staying flexible even in extremely cold temperatures. They are also equipped with sipes to give the tread some extra biting edges. Whether you drive a car, truck, or other vehicles, studless tires will do the job just fine.
That being said, install tire studs if you require excellent traction and ice performance. They deliver superb grip on roads covered with ice, and they should be used for that sole purpose. Search for a service professional to install your studs for extra durability and hassle-free installation.
Overall, removing studs from tires is fairly easy, perhaps even comparable to removing paint from tires. With a lubricant, some pliers, and a few mounting tools, you can take the studs out of the tread and get the job done. Keep in mind that while studs do provide superior traction and grip, only use them during the winter as they are strong enough to damage road surfaces. Furthermore, consult your state laws to see if studs are not limited or banned in your area.