Everything You Need To Know About Winter Tires
Posted on October 21, 2020
Drivers in places like Mexico or the Florida Keys would be right to be more than a little skeptical if their dealer wanted to sell them winter tires, but here in Canada it's a different story altogether. This far north of the equator where snow and ice are an everyday part of life for many of us during a considerable part of the year, we really need to think seriously about winter car safety, and that inevitably means winter tire.
When the temperature drops below 7° Celsius, winter tires will give you better traction, handling, cornering ability and a shorter distance for braking. In short, their overall performance is much better than it would be with all-season tires. Still not sure about whether you should or shouldn't invest in a set as part of your car maintenance regime, here's everything you need to know about winter tires.
What are winter tires?
There's always been a notable difference between a set of all-weather and a set of winter tires, but technological advances in recent years mean the difference is now almost immeasurable. If you got the chance to test the different tires back-to-back against each other in winter conditions, you'd never consider driving in winter conditions on all-weather tires again. Modern, top-quality winter tires are not like the old snow tires of decades ago. Winter tires of today are much more advanced and really need to be experienced.
Along with having tread patterns designed specifically for coping with snow and ice, these tires have a softer rubber compound than all-weather tires so they don't harden in the cold weather. Years ago, softer winter tires could be torn to shreds if they were used on a dry road for any length of time, and they weren't particularly good for stopping in wet conditions, but that's not the case today. A brand new set of all-season tires will offer some traction in winter conditions, but true winter tire will almost make it feel as if you're driving on dry pavement.
Who needs winter tires?
Drivers of rear-wheel-drive cars have always been the most likely to use winter tires, but now drivers of front and all-wheel-drive vehicles are also starting to realize the huge advantages of special tires in the winter. Basically, anyone who needs a car to get moving in icy conditions for a proportion of the year would benefit from winter tire. Rear-drive cars particularly need them, but they're a huge help for any type of vehicle when it comes to stopping and cornering on snow and ice. It's not an exaggeration be any means to claim top-quality snow tires as they can make it feel as though you're driving on a dry road during the winter, so it would probably be easier to try and list anyone who might not need them in such conditions.
Debunking the objections
Two reasons generally given for not having a set of dedicated winter tire are the additional cost and the need for space to store them when not in use. Obviously, a separate set of winter tires costs money, but you'll be saving money through no wear being put on your all-weather tires while your winter set is on your vehicle. Instead of wearing through a couple of sets of all-weather tires over a period of time, think of it as going through a set of winter tires and a set of all-season tires over the same period instead.
As for storage, some tire suppliers and fitters are now offering a service where they will store the set of wheels and tires you're not using at the time. All you have to do is call in and get them to swap them over for you when the weather is changing, and the tires that come off will be kept for you until it's time to swap them over again. The CarHub Caledon Chrysler Service Department offers this service - just ask for more details (866) 972-5423.
And then there's the biggest saving of all, which is where having a set of top-quality winter tires as the cold weather closes in can reduce the chances of an accident and could turn out to be a life-saver. How much are the right tires on your vehicle in the right conditions worth to you when you look at it that way, even if it just avoids an expensive repair?
For more information and to get a quote for fitting winter tires to your vehicle and other vehicle tips, don't hesitate to give us a call here at (866) 972-5423 or fill out the form below to set up a reservation to come in.
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