Winter Tires: FAQs & How To’s

Having the proper kind of tires is essential if you’re looking to guarantee a better and safer driving experience during the winter season. Winter tires are manufactured to make certain that proper traction is produced in snowy and icy environments. These snow-efficient upgrades reliably enhance a vehicle’s braking and steering quality on cold and dry roads, preventing unnecessary accidents during cooler temperatures. In this article, we provide the answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding winter tires. Various factors determine the performance quality of a tire. The orientation of plies, or layers of cords implemented in the tire rubber to prevent it from stretching under internal pressure, is one such factor. The orientation of plies is also one way to categorize tires.

How much do winter tires cost?

The total cost of a snow tire varies due to a number of factors, including type, size, quality and brand. We can categorize the snow tires into three variations, which include studded, studless and winter performance. For the average car, studless snow tires cost about 90 to 200 CAD each. Studded tires, which ensure an efficient performance on extensive heavy snow conditions, can be bought for as low as 100 CAD. Winter performance tires are utilized on sports cars and high-performance sedans for safer high-speed driving in cold weather on wet or dry pavement. These tires can cost as low as 150 CAD to as high as 700 CAD per piece. From Michelin to BFGoodrich, TDot Performance carries the newest and most high-end snow tires for your winter needs. A verified retailer, we guarantee the lowest prices and the fastest shipment in all of Canada.

How long do winter tires last?

There is no set life expectancy for a winter tire. Manufacturers often ensure them to have a lifespan of at least four seasons. There are a huge number of factors that determine the lifespan of a winter tire. It depends on how many miles you drive in a month, the particular driving application it is used on, the snowy conditions of your location and of course, the quality build of the tire. The tire’s tread wears more quickly if you’re consistently driving on freezing road surfaces than if they are on snow for most of the season. Lastly, the longevity of a tire is determined by the level of care and maintenance provided by the owner.

When do I install or put on my winter tires?

Winter tires are designed to work best when driving across heavy snowfall and icy road conditions. Their flexible tread rubber compound and an increased number of biting edges make certain the tire grips the ground more efficiently. Deeper tread depths and a special tread pattern prevent snow buildup, effectively expelling slush and water.

I live in the province of Ontario. When do my winter tires need to be installed on my vehicle?

To ensure a safer driving experience, winter tires are best utilized during the months of October to April. In the province of Ontario, the cold winter season can begin as early as October or November while the last snowfall season normally happens in March or April. Big snowstorms typically occur two or three times a year, most often in the month of January.

When do I need to remove and change my winter tires?

The main disadvantage of utilizing a winter tire for too long is they tend to wear down easier and produce less response on warm roads. The rubber compounds of winter tires are engineered to be utilized in driving temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius. Anything above it causes the tire to heat up quickly resulting in shorter service life. The deeper tread and increased sipes of a winter tire ensure stability on cold conditions but less so in warmer climates. Adding to that, the tire’s blueprint is also less efficient at braking when used in summer conditions.

When do I need to change from winter tires to summer tires?

A rule of thumb to follow when shifting from winter to summer tires is that the average 24-hour ambient temperature should be above seven degrees Celsius. It’s a great idea to wait for a week or two of warm weather before making the switch, ensuring minimal chances of sudden snowfall. Take note that a few days or a week of normal driving in warmer temperatures will not damage your winter tires nor elevate treadwear. Compared to utilizing a summer tire, which offers almost zero traction on cold weather, it’s a safer option to wait until the warm season has officially arrived before making the switch.

The cold season is over. How do I properly store my winter tires?

The proper storage of your winter tires on non-snowy days is essential in order to ensure they last the lifespan of your ride. Of course, the first step is to fully clean them up before storage to effectively prevent dirt from causing damages. The room in which your tires are stored should be dry, cool and dark, where room temperature is not exceeded. To ensure the tire’s physical properties aren’t compromised, do not store them outdoors in direct exposure to sunlight or anywhere hot even if they are placed inside a protective covering. When storing tires, ensure that they are taken care of the right way. If tires are stored in an area that may be at risk of causing a tire fire, the environment and air quality are at serious risk. The black smoke that emits from a tire fire causes significant air pollution and is dangerous to downwind properties.

Place them away from solvents, lubricants and other similar chemicals while making sure they are comfortable without any external pressure. Store them standing upright to reduce stress but if they are mounted on rims, they should be stacked. Lastly, keep your tires protected from naturally occurring ozone that can cause cracking by storing them inside an airtight storage bag and keeping them away from motorized devices. Alternatively, tire racks, stands, and shelves are a great option to get your tires off the floor by hanging them on the garage wall or properly stacked on display in a corner.

How do I know when my winter tires need to be replaced?

The increased thread depth of winter tires is fundamental for reliable braking and cornering on snow and ice. If your snow-efficient tires have been utilized for several seasons, the tread pattern may have been worn down, which will affect its ability to bite into snow and push away slush. Most tire designers as well as the law in some provinces decree that your tires should be replaced when the tread depth reaches 2/32 inches in the winter. To maintain excellent mobility, one may also consider replacing their tires when they reach about 6/32 inch of remaining tread depth. The simplest way to check your tire’s tread depth is by slipping a coin in between tread blocks. Your tires may also have tread wear indicators, which are small raised bars along the grooves that indicate the precise depth. A tread depth gauge may also be purchased so users can accurately acquire their tire’s tread depth in less than a minute.

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