We’ve all heard the commercials telling us to get our winter tires on before the snow arrives. But why the big push? How do winter tires differ from all-season ones? Why should shopping for them be any different this year?
The Covid19 pandemic has presented all sorts of global challenges, including shipping delays and shortages in both raw materials and the production of goods. Unfortunately, this also extends to the purchase of tires. According to recent reports, many tire manufacturers will be experiencing shortages and delays in production. This means local tire shops may have limited supply of certain makes and models. This is expected to last into the next year, so it is being recommended that purchases of new tires be made as early as possible to avoid potential shortages.
What is the difference between winter tires?
Road surfaces change depending on the season, and so should your tires. While an all-season tire is a good choice for the majority of the weather we face here in the Niagara Region, winter tires have specially designed treads that stay softer and more pliable during cold Canadian winters. The rubber compound in a winter tire is specially formulated for temperatures below 7 °C (46 °F). Consequently, winter tires don’t like warm roads and will break down faster when temperatures rise, so be sure to change them back before you break out those shorts and sandals!
What to look for when shopping for tires?
You always want to look for the mountain/snowflake symbol. Tires with this symbol have been designed for severe snow conditions and meet requirements for winter driving. They will also meet your insurance company’s guidelines, so be sure to inform your broker of any winter tire purchases.
How do you know if it’s time to replace your tires?
The Weather Network shares a simple trick you can do at home using a quarter. Simply insert the quarter between two treads and turn the caribou’s nose to face downward. If the nose is covered by tire tread, the tire is fine. If you can see the nose, it’s time to replace. (Click here for full article.) Note: it is recommended that you check each tire as they may experience wear and tear differently.
Remember to check your winter tires each year, and replace them before the snow flies for a safer winter driving experience!
Additional reference links: