Timing is Everything When it Comes to Winter Tires

A stock photo of a winter tire on a snow-covered surface.

When is the Best Time to Put on Winter Tires in Ontario?

It seems like winter is always looming in our rearview mirror. Purchasing a set of winter tires is an important decision a lot of Canadian drivers face each year. Ontario is not a province that requires winter tires to be put on vehicles, though our neighbours in Quebec are required. Assuming someone has decided to make the purchase, the next question is, when is the best time to put on winter tires in Ontario? Obviously, winter tires are designed to be used during the winter months, but waiting for the snow to fall will be too late. The Budds’ Chevy Service Department would like to share some interesting information with you on the best time to swap out your tires.

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What Temperature is Best for Winter Tires?

According to several studies, including one by Canadian Tire, 7° C seems to be the magic number where all-season tires and winter tires have similar grip potential. Below that mark, the rubber used by all-season tires will become less pliable and less effective at maintaining traction. This is where winter tires come into play. Tire manufacturers have spent a lot of time and resources getting the formula for winter tires right, but that isn’t the only thing that goes into making winter tires work.

How Are Winter Tires Different from All-Season or Summer Tires?

Indeed, the kind of rubber used in tires will play a significant role in how they perform on the road. The ultimate goal of a winter tire is to maintain positive traction on the road. This is accomplished by using wide channels with siping along the sides. Siping is essentially a pocket that opens to collect water as the tire rotates and uses that same centrifugal force to expel it to the vehicle’s rear. 

Can I Drive Faster in Snow Using Winter Tires?

Winter tires are just tools at the disposal of a driver to be safe on the road. While winter tires are great at maintaining traction in snowy or icy conditions, they are not magic, and they don’t negate the laws of physics. Drivers will still need to be careful when driving in the winter and allow themselves extra time to get places. 

Make an appointment with a Budds’ Chevy Service Department representative, today, if you have questions about the pros and cons of owning winter tires, and to get yours installed.