Everything you need to know about Winter Tires
Blog Post by Madison D’Angelo
November 5th, 2014
Winter tires, summer tires, all-season tires, what’s the difference? Which brand should I use? When do I change them? What should I know? If you’ve ever asked yourself one of these questions, take a look below.
Winter tires: When to put on and remove
It’s hard to know exactly when winter starts and ends, especially with the crazy weather patterns we’ve been experiencing. So when is the right time to change in and out of your winter tires? Seven degrees Celsius is a good guide. It all depends on where you live and what the weather is like.
Do I need winter tires in the winter if there is no snow or rain?
Yes. Regardless of whether or not there is snow or rain, the cold will make summer tires lose grip. The tread will get hard as a rock, and it will significantly shorten the overall life of your tires. This will not happen with your winter tires because they are made with a much softer rubber compound to help grip in cold temperatures. It is worth it to spend the extra money on winter tires rather than ruining your other ones, and risking your safety.
Why can’t I use winter tires in the summer?
I understand that summer tires aren’t made to grip on ice or snow, but why can’t I keep my winter tires on after the snow melts? The rubber compound in winter tires is much softer, and the heat of the summer will wear them out very quickly. Instead of lasting 3 or 4 winter seasons, they may even need replacing after the first year.
Winter and summer, or all-season?
All-season tires may work in a broader range of temperatures, but they are no comparison to real winter tires.
Did you know that winter tires are mandatory in Quebec for 3 months of the year? Before this, nearly 40% of winter accidents were involving a car with all-seasons. Since this was put into place, their Ministry of Transportation has collected data of reduced accidents and reduced deaths, and they say that winter tires (compared to all-season) shorten breaking distance up to 25%.
Do I have to store my off-season tires?
Once you change your tires, you are left with the other ones until next year. Be careful about just leaving the tires in your garage, they can deteriorate from many factors such as time, temperature, oxidation, sunlight, etc. Storing off-season tires is a great way to keep them ready for next year and extend their overall lifespan.