All you need to know about winter tires

By: Bargain Auto Centre   |   24 Sep 2018

Summer is over for another year and many parts of Canada have seen snow already, which means that now is the time to get your ride ready for winter. Nothing matters more than having your vehicle equipped with quality winter tires and here we will take a brief look at all you need to know.

How they work

Winter tires are made from high-tech rubber compounds that are specially designed to stay soft and supple even when the temperatures plummet, which means you’ll have a solid grip on the road no matter how cold it gets. These high-tech boots also feature aggressive tread patterns and micro-slits (known as sipes) that make it easier for your ride to carve through rain, slush, and snow.

The 7 degree rule

As soon as the temperatures are consistently below 7°C where you live it is time to switch over to your winter treads; otherwise, your ride will quickly start to struggle for traction and control, making it increasingly difficult to stay safe. When temperatures climb back above the 7°C mark in the spring, switch back over to your summer/all-season treads, as this will help to safeguard that softer winter rubber from being damaged by hot, dry roads.

Legal requirements

Get to know the laws in your part of the country regarding winter tires, because it is often legally required to have winter tires on your vehicle during certain times of the year. For example, in much of lower mainland BC your ride must have its winter boots on from October 1st until March 31st each year. Don’t forget that just as with regular tires, your winter tires must have at least 3/32” of tread depth in order to be considered legal in Canada.

Do you still need winter tires even if you have All Wheel Drive (AWD)?

YES! Contrary to what you may have heard AWD does very little for your vehicle’s ability to stop on winter roads. While an AWD system can do wonders to help get your ride out of a snow bank, when it comes to maintaining a solid grip on the road and stopping in a hurry it is the rubber on your tires that matters most.

How long do they last?

Your winter treads will typically last for 5-7 years, after which point the rubber will start to deteriorate, reducing its effectiveness dramatically. No matter how old your tires are, it is wise to inspect them regularly for clear signs of damage – such as bulges, blisters and bubbling – and if you see anything even a little worrying have it checked by a qualified mechanic ASAP.

If you need advice on choosing winter tires for your vehicle or are in need of an upgrade this year, head straight to Bargain Auto Centre today. Our friendly and qualified experts are among the best in the industry and our selection of quality used vehicles is second to none. Why not drop by and test drive something special today? You’ll find us conveniently located here at 11141 156 Street Edmonton.

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