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It’s the season when the cold fist of winter slams down on roads and sends drivers into frenzy. But the season isn’t necessarily to blame for more issues on the road; it’s motorists who aren’t prepared for the change in driving conditions that are the biggest liability.
Switching from all-season tires to winter tires is the best thing you can do prepare your vehicle for uncertain, icy conditions. Think of it like giving your vehicle flip-flops in the summer and boots for the snow.
Understanding the difference between all-season, all-weather, and winter tires helps you find the tire that’s best for the driving conditions.
1- Winter tires: Harsh winter conditions with lots of snow, ice, and freezing water on the road.
Winter tires have more traction and can significantly increase your braking capability. Remember, even though your brakes stop the wheels, it’s the tires that grip the road and ultimately stop the vehicle. As temperatures drop below 7ºC, the winter tire develops more grip, while the all-season tire loses grip and the summer tire is rendered useless. Winter tires are designed to stay soft in cold temperatures for ultimate grip on ice.
2- All-weather: Milder winter conditions with heavy rain, snowfall that melts quickly and slush.
These are designed to stay flexible in temperatures above and below 7 Celsius. They provide excellent grip on snow, slush, wet roads and bare asphalt. All-weather tires also have the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol, which means that they are recognized by Transport Canada to be specifically designed for use in snowy conditions
3 –All-season: Warm, dry and mild wet conditions
All-season tires are generally made out of a harder compound and lose their traction at 7 C and below. They have versatile performance and are designed to handle the roads in a variety of condition including rain-slicked roads and light snow. However, all-season tires tend to compromise some performance capabilities in extreme conditions. These tires won’t provide the same amount of grip as summer tire. Likewise, an all season tire is not equipped to handle extreme winter conditions like trekking through snow or manoeuvring on ice.
Winter tires are required here in British Columbia on many rural mountain passes in the Interior, northern B.C. and in areas of Vancouver Island between Oct. 1 and March 31. For a list of highways winter tires are required on, visit www.gov.bc.ca/wintertires. Note: The minimum requirement is a M + S (Mud and Snow) rating stamped on your tire. Real ‘winter’ tires have mountain and snowflake symbol.
Whether it is time to replace your tires or get ready for the safe winter drive, Rice Toyota Courtenay offers leading edge tire technology at competitive prices along with the exceptional service.