Winter Tires – Are they really that big of a deal?

The days are getting shorter and colder, you’ve started to pull out the hats and mittens. But it’s not snowing yet so you’re wondering, do you really need to invest in winter tires? You’ve got all-seasons, is there really a difference?

Absolutely – to both. While they may be a bit of an upfront investment, the pros far outweigh the cost of purchasing them. We’ve outlined some of the benefits, and debunked some of the myths of installing winter tires on your vehicle.

They are not the same as all seasons.

On all season, or any type of non winter tires, rubber becomes inflexible and brittle at temperatures below 7◦C. This is why all seasons stop gripping and start sliding once they hit these levels of coldness. Winter tires are made with a softer compound allowing them to stay flexible and grip when you’re on slippery roads – allowing for better control of your vehicle.

The tread is thicker.

Winter tires have different – and thicker tread patterns then all season or summer tires do. The thicker tread allows for a better grip and traction. The tread patterns also aim to funnel water, slush and snow out from under the tires so there is still road for the tires to grip on.

They should be put on by Early November, and off again in spring.

Keep an eye on the long term forecast, and schedule and installation appointment accordingly. They should be put on as soon as temperatures reach about 7◦C. Also come spring, they need to be taken off as soon as temperatures rise to above 7◦C. Keeping them on past when they are needed while harm the tires. The softer rubber compound will get eaten up by hot pavement temperatures once spring rolls around.

Insurance Discounts

Effective January 1, 2016, the Ontario government will require all private insurers to offer discounts to people who buy and install winter tires, the Ministry of Finance said in a release. Although we do not know what the discount will be, most current insurers are offering an average of 5%.

Stopping Distance

In sedans at speeds of 10 miles per hour, winter tires can make an 8-foot difference in stopping distances. That’s about half a car length, or the difference between your front bumper being nicely behind the car ahead or buried into its trunk. At 30 mph, the distance grows exponentially, to 63 feet (4 car lengths.) For SUV’s with all-wheel drive the results were pretty much the same: 7 feet to stop from 10 mph and 56 (that’s 3 1/2car lengths) from 30 mph.

The above are just a few of the reasons why getting winter tires is a must. Below is link to the Automobiles Protection Associations top rated winter tires if you’re not sure what kind to get.

Remember though, winter tires are not the only thing keeping you safe on the road. Remember to always drive according to weather conditions, give appropriate space and be alert. Stay safe this winter!

Author: BuddsSubaru

Budds’ family-owned automotive stores and services have been serving the GTA for over 40 years with same unwavering commitment to superior customer service. Budds' Subaru is your number one choice for safety, capability, and reliability.