If you are new to Canada or new to driving, you may be unaware of the need to change tires with the seasons. Winter road conditions are dangerous in most parts with slush, snow, hail and ice creating slippery conditions. To navigate without losing control of the car and stay safe, it is necessary to switch to winter tires in the winter months.
While Quebec requires drivers to switch to four snow tires in the peak winter period (December 15 to March 15), there is no jurisdiction of the same rules in Ontario. However, provincial guidelines strongly recommend winter tires between the peak winter period but many new drivers are unaware of the necessity. In case of an accident with summer tires in the winter season, the insurer may refuse to reimburse the damage and hold the other party responsible instead. It is wise to switch to winter tires in the winter months. Here are a few more reasons to understand the dangers of not doing so.
Reasons to Avoid Summer Tires in the Winters
- Summer Tires Lose Grip in the Cold: Simply put, summer performance tires are not designed for sub-zero temperatures. Neither are they designed to hold grip and traction through slush, snow and ice. Summer performance tires are built with tread compounds engineered to provide traction in hot temperatures. As the temperature drops, the rubber mixture hardens to an inflexible plastic. Called “glass transition” in the automobile industry, the traction performance of the tire drops considerably, then the tires lose flexibility and elasticity, turning rigid. As a result, the longer distance is required to completely stop. In warmer weather, they return to their normal state.
- Hard to Stop your Car on Slippery Roads: In wet weather, it is easy to lose control and the vehicle can get damaged. In icy conditions, it’s almost impossible to stop a car mounted with summer tires. If you need to stop suddenly or make a sharp turn, summer tires can slip or spin leading to a situation that could harm the driver or the passengers. Any aggressive application on the gas pedal is a hazard when the tires lose traction.
- Tread Compound Cracking: If temperatures drop below the freezing point, summer tires can risk the possibility of tread compound cracking – a permanent condition where the tires need to be replaced. Alternately, the edges of the tread blocks get chipped away. In both cases, the manufacturer’s warranty will not typically cover the situation as it falls under the improper handling of the car.
Advantages of Winter Tires in the Winter
- Winter tires are designed with soft, elastic-treads that allow a smooth, stable ride even in freezing road conditions.
- They use a large number of textured sheets or lamellae, increasing absorption of mud and snow and greater grip on wet roads.
- Unlike summer tires, snow does not clog the narrow channels between the sheets of the tires so they are more resistant.
- The metal spikes in winter tires repel water and dig into the ice and snow to increase traction on the road, quite like the sharp claws of a cat.
Best Winter Tire Brands at 416 Wheels and Tires, Mississauga
Better safe than sorry. Now with winter here, visit a reliable auto parts shop to protect your car, and more importantly your family and yourself with high-grade winter tires. Stay ahead of the curve and choose from the best winter tire brands at 416 Wheels and Tires to prepare your car for the journey ahead. Check our website for attractive deals, discounts and promo packages. Call us to know more.