It is never too early (or too late) to start thinking about winter tires for your vehicle. The most important thing you can do to get your car ready for the snow and ice, is to make sure you have winter tires.
Many drivers assume that all-season tires are fine for driving year-round. This can be true if you live in a temperate climate. Here in Waterloo Region, we experience a variety of winter conditions. A set of dedicated winter tires will improve road safety during the coldest months.
Winter tires get their advantage from tread patterns designed for ice and snow and a softer rubber compound to enhance grip. When it's cold, winter tires outperform all-season tires on dry pavement, ice and snow.
It is important to remember that winter tires always work better any time it is cold outside.
Winter Tire FAQ's
Not every Canadian region gets a lot of snow, but most of the country has winter temperatures consistently as cold as, or colder than +7 ℃. All-season and all-weather tires provide safe all-weather performance, however winter tires are a safer option once the temperatures start to fall. If you are driving at +7 ℃ or below winter tires installing winter tires can offer up to 50% more traction than all-season tires.
All-season and all-weather tires harden below 7℃, reducing traction significantly. Winter tires work because they have a softer rubber composition, which stays flexible in the colder temperatures. Grooves on the tires also provide better grip and handling in conditions like snow and ice. When thinking about winter tires, it's about the temperature, not the snow.
Yes, winter tires have a single-directional tread to push way ice and snow. They also have a deeper tread.
If you’re replacing your tires, you should replace them all.
Having four tires with the same tread patterns, materials, size, and tread wear will improve handling. This will give you better control of your vehicle on wet, slippery roads.
Mixing tires can compromise your vehicle’s stability and can easily lead to over-steering and under-steering, compromising road safety. Additionally, Transport Canada recommends that winter tires be installed in sets of four.
The winter tire designation looks like a peaked mountain with a snowflake in the middle. When you see a tire with the mountain snowflake pictograph on the sidewall, you know it meets specific snow traction performance requirements set by the Rubber Association of Canada.
Tires designed for use in winter conditions can handle both snowy, slippery roads and low temperatures. The mountain snowflake symbol indicates a winter tire meets the minimum requirements for providing traction in harsh conditions, though some tires exceed the symbol’s requirements.
A good rule of thumb is to install your winter tires when you can see your breath, which is 7℃ and below. Traction and handling on all-season and all weather tires is reduced at this temperature because the tires harden.
While there are no actual laws in Ontario that require drivers to use winter tires, there are some reasons people might want to use them outside of them simply being safer.
Using winter tires can also save you money. Since 2016, insurance companies in Ontario are legally required to give discounts to drivers who use winter tires.
For your convenience, Bennett's offers on-site tire storage, so you don't have to worry about how to store your tires in the off-season. Tires can be switched over by appointment by calling 519-621-1250.