Tire Buying Guide
At our dealership we care about your safety and have created a buying guide to ensure your vehicle is equipped with the proper tires. Don't want to read? Watch the Video!
What are my choices?
- All-Season Tires
All-season tires are designed to provide safe driving over wide range of weather conditions. They are suitable for spring, summer and fall. However, they may not be as effective as winter tires in the low temperature and severe snowy conditions.
- Winter Tires
Winter tires have better traction and handling than the all-season tires. They are specially designed for low temperature [below 7°C] and snowy conditions.
What does the Symbol on the Tires Mean?
Tires-symbol-summer All-Season Tires have the symbol M+S, M-S or M&S, which indicates the tires is suitable for all-season. It provides a decent traction in rain, snow and muddy conditions. However, the tires DID NOT pass the any road tests to ensuring effectiveness in severe winter conditions.
Tires-symbol-winter Winter Tires have the mountain snowflake Symbol which indicates a Severe Snow Condition Rating. They have been performance tested to meet or exceed industry performance requirements.
All Season tires requirements are simple guidelines and involve no actual testing to receive their assigned designation, while winter tires must meet strict performance-based requirements.
Why Do I Need Winter Tires?
- Tread Design
Winter tires have special tread designs which improve traction on snow and ice. By adding winter tires to your complete car care package, a comfortable, quiet highway ride as well as excellent dry traction are benefits you will absolutely notice.
Wider circumferential grooves enhance winter traction by providing efficient channels to drain water and expel snow. Unlike snow tires of old, smaller shoulder groves increase snow and ice traction by providing efficient channels to drain water and expel snow. Special lug and groove shapes allow more snow to be packed into the tread and expelled as the tire rotates for improved deep snow traction. Sophisticated, high-density sipe designs (sipes are the tiny slits in the tread surface) help cut through water and slush so the tread compound can make better contact with the road. A rounder casing design helps improve traction by cutting into the snow's surface.
- Tread Compound
Winter tires carry a special tread mixture that use one or more of the following features to deliver improved traction:
"Soft Stud" tread fibers "bite" like metal studs, and are quiet and do not harm the road. Special compounds retain their flexibility even in the coldest temperatures. A more flexible tread surface equals more traction and control on winter roads. Silica-based, micro pore compounds (or comparable technology) are used to bite through the water film and increase snow and ice traction.
All-season tires start to lose their grip at 7°C and complete lose their grip at -15°C, while Winter Tires only start to lose their grip at -40°C
Summary - DO's and DON'Ts
DO Install four winter tires. This will help with the overall maintenance of the control and stability of your vehicle in icy conditions. Transport Canada and the Rubber Association of Canada highly recommend that you install winter tires in sets of four.
- DO NOT Mix tires with different tread patterns, internal construction and size degrades the stability of the vehicle and should be avoided.
- DO NOT use worn down tires. As a tire wears down, snow traction is reduced. Tires that are worn to 5/32nd have reduced traction and should not be used on snow-covered roads or in severe snow conditions.
- DO consider tires equipped with chains or studs, if you are driving in excessive amounts of snow. Studs are best suited for soft ice. DO Check with the local authorities about the legality of using these products.
- DO NOT use Cruise Control during wintertime.
- DO NOT follow too closely behind other vehicles. Give yourself extra time to stop safely.
- DO maintain Proper air pressure extends the tread life of the tire. It also improves safety and reduces fuel consumption: all vital factors in saving energy and protecting the environment. Tire pressure decreases when the tires are cold, usually when a vehicle has been left out overnight.
- DO NOT become overconfident due to AWD. A fair warning to drivers of AWD vehicles: AWD technology is not a safety features and will not give your tires more cornering or braking grip. AWD is a performance feature that enhances acceleration. Many drivers with AWD become overconfident and fail to realize that there is less grip when conditions deteriorate.