Once the temperature drops to 7°C, winter tires will provide the best grip, says Courtenay Mazda Service Manager Kyle Schouten.

Once the temperature drops to 7°C, winter tires will provide the best grip, says Courtenay Mazda Service Manager Kyle Schouten.

Winter is coming: 10 things you need to know about your tires

Safe winter travelling requires the right tires

With October’s winds and rains blowing up a storm, chilly temperatures will be close behind.

In fact, that danger zone for tires – when temperatures drop below 7°C – is already here and with it, winter tire requirements.

“As the weather drops below 7°C, the rubber on normal all-seasons becomes very hard and doesn’t grip as well,” explains Corey Sawchuk, from Courtenay Mazda. “The rubber on the winter tires stays more pliable, improving the traction and handling in winter conditions.”

  1. Because winter road conditions often include snow and ice, B.C.’s winter tire and chain-up rules are in place throughout the province – including Vancouver Island – from Oct. 1 to March 31.
  2. What tires are acceptable? B.C. accepts tires displaying the three-peaked mountain and snowflake symbol or the M+S (mud and snow) symbol, with at least 3.5 mm tread as winter tires.
  3. True winter tires – bearing the mountain and snowflake symbol – offer the best traction for snow, ice and cold weather. ICBC says those living in an area that regularly receives snow or who often drive to winter sports should outfit their vehicle with four mountain/snowflake winter tires.
  4. Tires bearing the mud and snow symbol offer better traction than summer or all-season tires but are less effective than snow tires for snow, ice and cold weather, Sawchuk says.
  5. Regardless of the symbol, tires must have at least 3.5mm of tread remaining to be considered winter tires.
  6. Along with specially formulated rubber, winter tires also feature tread designs made specifically for ice, snow and other severe winter conditions, and reduce snow build-up, notes Goodyear Tire.
  7. Proper air pressure is also key for driving safety, handling and traction – and extending tire life. Refer to the inflation level recommended by your vehicle manufacturer, usually in the owner’s manual, on the driver’s door or inside the glove box. Tire pressure decreases as temperatures drop, so check the pressure at least monthly, when tires are cold.
  8. Chains can enhance traction on winter tires, but chains on summer tires are not an acceptable substitute for winter tires on signed highways, the province notes. Additionally, four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive vehicles still need winter tires on the front and back to stay safe in the elements, say the Michelin tire professionals.
  9. While driving without winter tires won’t void your insurance if you have a claim, and won’t mean you’re automatically at fault in a crash, if involved in a crash where winter tires could have helped, not having them may affect whether – or how much – you’re at fault, ICBC says.
  10. Increase tires’ longevity with proper storage: in a cool, dark, dry indoor location away from electric motors, since ozone produced by electric motors can damage tire rubber. If storing wheel-mounted tires, reduce tire pressure to 15 psi and re-inflate when re-mounting on your vehicle, ICBC recommends.

“We encourage drivers to come in with any questions they may have about the benefits of winter tires. We can outfit all makes and models and we’re happy to show them the options, and review our Lowest Price Tires Guarantee,” Sawchuk says.

Just Posted

G.P. Vanier in Courtenay has six members of the community who have tested positive; Island Health identified seven staff and 78 students who will be required to self-isolate. Black Press file photo
SD71 identifies eight positive cases of COVID-19 and instructs 108 people to self-isolate

The letter noted that all who have tested positive did not contract COVID-19 within the school sites

Geoff Garbutt takes over as City of Courtenay CAO on April 14. Photo supplied
Courtenay council selects new city CAO

A new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) will be joining the City of… Continue reading

Two vehicles collided Wednesday morning north of Courtenay on the Old Island Highway. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Two-car MVA north of Courtenay

Accident took place after 7 a.m. on the Old Island Highway

COVID cases in the Bella Coola Valley have dropped to just four active cases (file photo)
Comox Valley COVID spike the result of ‘a series of multiple social gatherings’

North Island Medical Health Officer Dr. Charmaine Enns says the recent spike… Continue reading

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The Town of Comox will formally examine speeding within the town. Black Press file photo
Comox to examine speeding within town

Following discussions at various council meetings, Comox council will formally examine speeding… Continue reading

A male customer without a face mask is seen inside a Burnaby Canadian Tire amidst an altercation with store security and staff members. (Video/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Man arrested after allegedly punching Burnaby Canadian Tire staff over mask rule

Mounties received reports Monday of a customer having punched more than one employee

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

A conceptual drawing of the preferred conveyance route for the Comox Valley Sewer Service.
Preferred conveyance route chosen for Comox Valley Sewer Service

The Comox Valley Sewage Commission approved a plan Tuesday to upgrade the… Continue reading

Most Read