Buying Tips for Your Winter Tires

December 6, 2016

If you're shopping around for winter tires, here are a couple things to keep in mind.

The long-awaited Canadian winter has arrived, and with the sudden drop in temperature comes the much-anticipated ice, snow and slush. These seasonal features can be pretty on the eyes, but not so pretty on the roads – especially if you’re driving without winter tires.

Winter tires are engineered to prevent your car from losing control on slippery surfaces. They’re built with deep grooves and treading for drivers who need better grip and handling on the road. If you’re shopping around for winter tires, here are a couple things to keep in mind:

1. Optimize for Performance

The tread rubber on winter tires is designed to provide drivers with enhanced traction when it comes to stopping faster, climbing hills and preventing slippage. As tempting as it might be to install two winter tires as opposed to four, the different treading on the wheels could damage the lining on your vehicle. Having four winter tires is important because they will optimize the performance of your car in harsh weather conditions and prevent you from spinning out while you’re driving.

Built for durability in freezing conditions, winter tires perform better in cold temperatures and should be removed when the temperature goes above 7 degrees – heat can cause the rubber to wear out prematurely and decrease their number of useful years.

2. Install your Winter Tires Properly

Driving through winter conditions can take a serious toll on your vehicle, and it’s extremely important to make sure that your winter tires are installed the right way to reap the benefits of them. Otherwise, you could be at greater risk of a collision on the road. In order to avoid wear on your vehicle, bring your car into a mechanic to ensure that the tires are properly mounted. Not only will this save you from dealing with damage to your car, but you’ll also be kept safe on the road.

2. Make Sure They Come With a Warranty

Winter tires can typically cost anywhere from $140 to $300 each. In case you encounter any defects with the rubber or sudden accidents while driving, it’s always important to make sure that they come with at least a 5-year warranty. If your treading has reached a depth of 4/32nds, it’s a good sign to replace them before the next winter season. Doing some research on what auto shop in your neighbourhood has the best long-term deals will help you get good quality tires for low rates.

Depending on what province you live in, driving without winter tires is illegal and could cost you both a fine and demerit points. Emergency stopping during freezing conditions is up to 40 per cent better with winter tires as opposed to all-season tires, so it’s crucial that all four tires are installed correctly for better grip and traction. Make sure that you consult with your local tire retailer to ensure that you’ll be driving safely this winter!

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