It’s a simple question: do you need winter tires? The short answer is yes. Many Canadians have questions about winter tires and why they need them. They are required by law in Quebec but not every province has special rules about them. We’re going to answer some of the most common questions Canadian drivers have about snow tires.
When should winter tires and rims be installed?
The general rule is once the temperature drops to 7°C it’s time to schedule your tire change. At that point you’ll benefit from the increased traction, braking and handling they provide. Be sure to change your tires before it snows. For most people in Canada, this means you should prepare your car, pick-up, or SUV for unexpected snowfalls by changing over to winter tires in October or early November.
Do I need them if I drive slowly and carefully?
Honestly, you should always drive slowly and carefully in the winter no matter what type of tires you have on your car. The problem is that overcompensating for road conditions can also create a traffic hazard. If you aren’t able to keep up with the flow of traffic as you accelerate from a stop light or up a hill, you pose a risk to yourself and all of the other vehicles around you. Getting better grip and handling can reduce the sense of uncertainty you feel when bad weather hits. Improved traction from winter tires will give you a greater margin of control to avoid the unexpected.
Buying a new set of tires is expensive, why aren’t my all season tires good enough?
It’s true that tires aren’t cheap but looking at price alone is a mistake. By having winter tires, you will safer while driving and you’ll be extending the life of your regular tires. You can also buy winter rims and simply keep your winter tires on them so you won’t have to pay additional mounting fees when switching them out. This will also protect your Original Equipment or aftermarket wheels from alloy corroding winter salt, slush, and grime. We have excellent prices on tires, alloy wheels, steel wheels, and complete Winter Tire & Wheel Packages.
My car has ABS brakes; do I still need to change my tires?
The ABS braking system will not do anything to aid in your tire’s traction. It simply prevents you from locking the tires up as you brake. By using tires specifically designed for your driving conditions, you’ll provide your ABS brakes with more grip to work with and maximize your vehicle’s winter performance. The same goes for traction control.
Do I need them if I have All Wheel Drive?
All wheel drive makes it easier to get your car moving in the snow but it does nothing to assist with braking. The ice and snow performance that winter tires provide will increase your vehicle’s ability to start moving, and also help reduce its stopping distance during harsh winter conditions.