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Should you get snow tires this winter?

If you are concerned about traction, control and safety on the roads this winter, consider installing snow tires.

Why should you get snow tires?

Snow tires are designed to grip ice and snow and provide drivers with better control and stability than all-season and performance tires (or summer tires).  Snow tires perform best when the temperature is below seven degrees Celsius, regardless of the road conditions.

Tread on snow tires is designed to remove snow from the tire as compared to all-season or performance tires.  As snow tires are made with softer rubber to retain elasticity they will wear out quicker than other tires. According to Transport Canada, winter tires should last up to 10 seasons depending on the amount of winter driving you do each season. You must switch your snow tires for all-season or performance tires at the end of the season.

What’s the difference?

All-season tires are designed to perform during various seasons and most conditions, but are not designed specifically for winter weather. Under cold temperatures with heavy snow or ice, all-season tires tend to lose transaction. Performance tires are designed to provide more grip when the temperature rises. Unfortunately, when the temperature drops, the rubber turns to plastic making it unsafe for winter driving.

Consider the winter conditions in your area. If you receive moderate to heavy snow, switch to snow tires. If the winter conditions are mild, you should be able to drive safely with all-season tires.  If you purchase winter tires, the Canada Safety Council recommends installing the same winter tread pattern on all four wheels, regardless if the car is rear-wheel or four-wheel drive.

There are a variety of winter tire options available and your local tire manufacturer can offer assistance in selecting the best one for your vehicle.

Snow tires not only make winter driving safer, but will improve your vehicle’s performance in addition to ABS brakes, front and all-wheel drive. Travel safely this winter.