By Guest Blogger, Cheryl Jairaj
What are Winter Tires (Snow Tires)
Four pieces of rubber that give you considerable peace of mind, while driving in winter conditions, giving you the much needed grip and stability, especially on icy roads.
When to get your Winter Tires on…
Depending on temperature, and provincial regulations, typically mid to end November, would be a good time to get your winter treads on. When the temperature hits 7 degrees Celsius, and under – then you know its time. Of course, if you are like me, before tire outlets, (and Costco) get too busy, and you have to be a line at 5am !! (I have done this several times). Although All Season Tires, may be alright for slightly cooler climates, Winter Tires provide a better road grip & increased traction, especially for climates that see slush, snow and ice.
So don’t let the name “All Season” confuse you. More suitable for Spring, Summer & fall, is leading more tire manufacturers to call them 3-Season Tires.
A brand new set of all season tires, provide reasonable traction & work as efficiently as a half worn set of winter tires, therefore it is expected that a half worn set of all season tires, are unsuitable for winter driving, specially on icy roads. Winter tires have superior tread patterns that are specifically designed for ice & snow. They employ softer rubber compounds to enhance the grip, easily outperforming a set of all-season tires.
Winter Tires & Discounts on Auto Insurance
Most Auto Insurance companies will give you a discount, if you let them know you have Winter Tires on your car, if you can provide them with proof of installation/bill/invoice.
When to get your Winter Tires off…
Winter tires are not suitable for summer as the softer rubber and more open tread pattern, makes the tires wear out rapidly – therefore when the weather becomes warmer in the spring, it is wise to swap your winter tires for summer or all season tires. Typically, in Ontario, early to mid April, is a good time for your Winter tires to be off.
Winter tires are designed to perform best on ice and snow, and not when the asphalt is hot from the Sun. Leaving Winter tires on, beyond April, is not only unsafe, but will burn a hole in your pocket, because the winter tires will degrade faster.
Crossovers are more popular now than ever before, as they offer more sure-footedness of an all-wheel driver, or a 4-wheel drive, however these only increase your ability to go, and very little in the ability to stop. The ability to stop on slippery surfaces or on icy roads, largely depends on the condition of your tires, and the traction it provides.
Even though in South Western Ontario, we do not get as much snow as some other parts of Canada, the weather from November to March, are too low for all season tires to get a secure grip or traction. While winter tires are recommended and encouraged for all Canadian drivers, there are only two provinces where winter tires are mandatory by law: Quebec & British Columbia. Look for the Logo in picture.
What is the cost of putting on/off Winter Tires
The price varies, since the installation of each tire, and balancing of the tires and pressure checks, will be done at the same time. The cost varies between $50-$100.
Here is excerpt from Canada Drives, an easy to understand the difference between All Season Vs All Weather Vs Winter tires.
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