how to pick out winter tires

How to Pick Out Winter Tires

Much like your terrific set of winter boots, snow tires are designed to improve grip and handling in slippery conditions. While all-season car tires are also known as “mud and snow” tires, they’re not truly meant for use in the types of heavy snow conditions nearly all Canadians deal with each winter. It’s time to learn How to Pickout Winter Tires the right way.

In reality, winter season tires are generally mandatory in Quebec because of the hefty snowfall they receive each and every winter. Even if you have a car or truck with four-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes or perhaps electronic stability control, your wheels still need to be able to hold the road for these features to do their jobs properly.Cutting corners slashes safety.


Several drivers choose to place snow tires merely on the front axle, thinking it will give them extra traction for less money; however, this actually causes a significant safety hazard. Tires assure efficient braking as well as traction, but your car needs equal distribution of both to avoid spinning out. If you have snow tires only at the front of a front-wheel drive automobile, the back end can easily glide off course.

You wouldn’t wear just one boot and one running shoe to walk in the snow; in the same way, your car requires 4 tires of the same type, size, speed rating and load index for a safe, smooth . Mixing tires with different tread patterns, internal structure or dimension can lead to significant stability and safety issues.

The two primary features to search for are tread design and type of rubber compound.

The tread affects the overall tire performance; the more snow you have to drive through, the more grip you’ll need from your tires. Tires have either a V-shaped or zigzag design on the tread to help keep tire grooves crystal clear of the snow and slush that contribute significantly to winter incidents on the road.

The elasticity of the rubber in the tire also contributes to performance; the greater the flexibility of the tire’s rubber, the better its grip and performance. Most all-season tires start to harden at 7ºC and lose elasticity below -15ºC. However, the majority of winter tires don’t lose elasticity until -40ºC. Even in dry environments, snow tires maintain elasticity well below freezing.

Look for tires that will best match the road conditions you will drive on the majority of the time. If you often drive on unplowed roads or in hilly areas, you may want to consider studded tires for further grip. Check with the transportation ministry in your area to find out if studded tires are permitted, and when you can use them.

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