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    Make the Switch to Winter Tires

    October 3, 2017

    Whether you live in the city or country, or whether you drive a big or small vehicle, winter driving conditions and winter tires will impact your vehicle’s performance.

    Benefits of Winter Tires

    The biggest misconception drivers have when it comes to winter tires is believing that all-season tires are superior. Many drivers, for example, believe winter tires are only useful in regions with lots of snow. In fact, once temperatures drop below seven degrees Celsius, winter tires perform better whether the road surface is dry, snow covered, slushy or icy. Winter tires also feature specialized rubber compounds that retain elasticity in temperatures below -30 degrees Celsius and treads that grip at cold temperatures. In fact, winter tires deliver up to 50 per cent more cold-weather traction than all-seasons.

    Another misconception is that all-season or summer tires provide sufficient traction in winter. One of the most important advantages of winter tires is reduced stopping distance when braking. At temperatures just below freezing on dry pavement stopping distance for vehicles with all-season tires can be as much as 30 per cent longer than for vehicles with winter tires. They have also been shown to have better traction on a snowy surface at -40 degrees Celsius than an all-season tire has at plus four degrees Celsius.


    Making the Switch

    Winter tires have special tread compounds that use more than one different kinds of features to improve traction. The rubber compound used is relatively soft. Generally speaking, the rubber in an all-season tire starts to lose elasticity and harden at a temperature of 7ºC, reducing grip. At -15ºC, this type of tire will have lost all its elasticity. On the other hand, a winter tire will only harden at around -40ºC. Therefore retaining its elasticity for much longer.

    Winter Driving Tips

    Outlined below, are a few recommended tips to prepare for winter driving conditions.

    1. Prepare for winter driving in the fall. Some of the things you’ll want to do include installing winter wiper blades, getting a winter oil service, and checking your battery, your brakes and your lights. It’s also a good idea to make sure your ignition, heating, cooling, and exhaust system are in good shape.
    2. Install all four matching tires early. In this case, you will be prepared for any sudden drops in temperature or changes in weather conditions.
    3. Check your tire pressure regularly. Check your tire pressure every few weeks and every time you’re about to head out on a winter road trip. Be sure to check your tires when they’re cold since pressure will go down at cooler temperatures.
    4. Practice winter driving. If you were skidding, would you know how to try and regain control of your vehicle? If your car is turning more than you want it to (oversteering), or not turning as much as you’d like (understeering)? The best way to learn is by doing. Try gently adjusting your speed and your handling as you corner so you know what your vehicle needs to regain traction. Know how to use your brakes best. Apply steady pressure for anti-lock brakes; pump for non anti-lock brakes.
    5. Check conditions before heading out. Surprisingly, some of the most dangerous driving conditions occur at fair temperatures. Snow and ice, for example, are more slippery at 0 C than -20 C. Environment Canada’s online weather reports are a good source of information about conditions, and there you’ll also find warnings about severe conditions.

    Finally, we have a winter tire promotion to offer to our clients at this time. Receive 30% OFF (plus installation) on the purchase of a new set of winter tires from Weissach. The first 50 customers will also receive FREE summer tire storage. Offer expires October 31st, 2017.

    For more information, or to book an appointment please contact or call 604 738 3911 in Vancouver or contact or call 403 984 6433 in Calgary.