June 25, 2024
Car Maintenance

Replace Snow Tires – All Brands Collision Centre

Winter tires are more than just “snow” tires.

Not only do winter tires offer enhanced performance in snowy conditions, but they also provide improved handling in cold temperatures, regardless of the road surface.

The special construction of winter tires makes them an ideal choice for driving in cold weather and on snowy or icy roads. Unlike all-season tires that harden at temperatures of around 7ºC and below, resulting in reduced grip and traction, winter tires are designed to remain flexible in cold temperatures. This flexibility allows for better traction on snow, ice, slush, as well as on dry pavement and cold clear roads.

Tip: Don’t wait for the snow to fall. When you can see your breath outside or when the temperature drops below 7ºC during the day, it’s time to switch to winter tires.

Whether you intend to install them or not, here are some key points to consider:

Winter tires feature unique tread patterns and siping (small slits on the tire surface) that bite into ice and snow while preventing snow buildup in the tread. This design also helps to evacuate water from the tire, reducing the risk of hydroplaning.

The combination of specialized rubber compounds, tread design, and siping gives winter tires up to 50 percent more traction than all-season tires. This increased traction results in shorter braking distances and improved handling. In hazardous conditions, those few extra seconds of stopping time could mean the difference between a safe journey and a potential collision.

Additionally, using winter tires can extend the lifespan of your summer or all-season tires.

Tips for purchasing and installing winter tires:

Select tires that bear the three-peaked mountain and snowflake symbol, indicating that they have passed a government-regulated traction test. Tires marked with M and S (mud and snow) are not designed for winter conditions and offer better traction than summer or all-season tires in light snow but not as much as dedicated winter tires in deep snow and cold temperatures.

It is recommended to use four matching winter tires. Vehicles equipped with only two winter tires exhibit significantly poorer handling compared to those with all four tires installed.

Before mounting your winter tires on your vehicle, conduct a thorough inspection. Check the tread depth to ensure it is sufficient for another season and look for any cracks, bald spots, or missing chunks. As a quick test for tread depth, insert a Canadian two-dollar coin between the treads. If the treads cover more than a quarter of the coin, your tires are in good condition.

Checking tire pressure:

Maintaining proper tire pressure is crucial for extending tread life, enhancing safety, and reducing fuel consumption — all of which are important for energy conservation and environmental protection.

Transport Canada recommends regularly checking tire pressure, especially before extended highway journeys or long trips. Well-inflated, high-quality winter tires in good condition provide optimal traction on winter roads and improve fuel efficiency.

Keep in mind that a tire that appears adequately inflated in a warm garage may be under-inflated when temperatures drop below freezing. Cold weather causes tire pressure to decrease, so it is essential to check tire pressure when the tires are cold. Don’t forget to inspect the spare tire pressure regularly as well.

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