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Are Winter Tires Essential for Canadian Drivers?

Winter tires debates spring up every year when temperatures drop and the snow starts falling. Every car owner ponders about this big question – “Are winter tires really necessary?” or “Should I opt for all season tires?” Winter tires never seem to achieve consensus when it comes to issues such as when to put them on or cost versus safety. Driving car in winter season needs to meet a few regulations and recommendations and they can vary from province to province.

No matter where you live in Canada or what vehicle you drive, winter tires for your vehicle are essential for safety. In cold weather, winter tires are important for handling, maneuverability, and braking as well as when driving a car in the winter season. According to experts, everyone should use winter tires in temperatures below freezing, regardless of whether they have all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

How Winter Tires Can Help You?

With winter tires, you can brake and steer more effectively in the winter season because the tires can grip onto the road and operate at a lower temperature. As opposed to what is commonly believed, winter tires are more important due to temperature than precipitation.

Unlike summer tires, winter tires are designed to stay flexible at low temperatures, while maintaining chemical and mechanical traction on the road. While driving a car in the winter season, the winter tires maintain their grip so you can brake, steer, and accelerate with ease.

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Winter Tires vs Regular TiresDifference Between Regular Tires and Winter Tires

A special rubber compound is used in winter tires to keep them soft. Since winter tires are flexible, they are designed to ensure the tread blocks maintain their structure with the softer compound.

Additionally, winter tires have small edges or cuts that act as pressurizing elements. A little bit of snow gets picked up, which then clings to more snow along the road.

While the mechanics of a winter tire may make sense, the most common complaint from drivers is their cost.

Are Winter Tires Really Necessary?

All-season tires were made to imitate summer climates more than winter climates. The rubber can withstand wet, humid conditions, but the thickness of the material cannot withstand frozen surfaces or dry ice. On an ice patch, you run the risk of losing control of your vehicle if you don’t have winter tires. The grooves in all season tires do not offer enough traction for freezing temperatures, and they are also significantly thinner than winter tires. Despite remaining flexible at low temperatures, all-season tires cannot deal with slippery surfaces.

By opting for all season tires, drivers believe they will save money once the seasons change because they won’t have to purchase winter tires. As your Owner’s Manual will indicate, you should replace your tires for general maintenance every couple of years, so leaving them on throughout the year will result in premature wear. If you fail to install winter tires, you risk not only compromising your safety but also putting more wear and tear on your vehicle.

For varying roadside conditions, different types of tires are designed. A summer tire is thinner and performs better in rainy or humid conditions. You need all-season tires in temperatures of 7 degrees Celsius and above. Cold-weather tires are designed to function in temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius. With or without snow, winter tires are flexible because of rubber compounds and other components which enhance vehicle handling and braking.

In spring and fall, when mild weather changes occur, all-season tires are fine, but once cold weather and snow arrive, they’re no match for Canadian highways. Deep treads are safer and easier to drive on, and tires with thicker rubber and grooves offer better traction. In addition, the rubber won’t bristle or crack when driving a car in the winter season.

Concluding thoughts…

Driving a car in the winter season can be challenging. A good set of tires is essential if you’re driving in hazardous conditions such as ice, snow, slush and freezing rain. Tires designed for winter have thicker rubber that produces more grip and traction on cold surfaces, as opposed to all-season tires. Despite their overall thickness and grooves, regular tires can’t handle winter roads, so getting the right set of winter tires is imperative to be safe in the unpredictable Canadian weather. Search for the best tire shops near you today.

Do you need a set of reliable winter tires? Or need assistance installing your tires? Schedule an appointment and let Fine Tuned Autos handle the work for you. For more information, contact us online.

FTAutosAre Winter Tires Essential for Canadian Drivers?

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