Only two provinces in Canada, Quebec and British Colombia, require cars to use winter tires between December to April. However, at MPS, we believe all cars should have winter tires if they’re driving in snowy conditions.
All-Season tires and winter tires are scientifically designed for different conditions. All-season tires are made of a rubber that starts to harden when the temperature drops below 7C. The harder the tires get, the less traction tires have and subsequently the less control you will have of your vehicle. Winter tires are made with rubber that stays softer in the cold. They also have treads designed to grip ice and snow. With improved grip and traction in the snow, slush and ice, snow tires provide a lot more control while driving.
Winter tires should be installed when the temperature is consistently staying below 7 degrees Celsius or 2 weeks before the first significant snow fall. In the GTA area, this means the end of October or early November depending on that year’s fall weather.
Although winter tires are very important during the winter, they should not be used in the summer months because they will wear down much quicker. The pliable rubber on winter tires, which helps create traction in the winter, wears down very quickly on warm, dry pavement. Using winter tires in the spring or summer will dramatically decrease their lifespan and performance in the winter.
The average lifespan of a set of tires is 5-7 years, however most drivers will wear out a set within 5 years. It’s important to monitor the condition of your tires because as they age, they lose their flexibility, and their ability to cope with temperature extremes. This is especially significant when it comes to winter tires since their main advantage is the ability to remain flexible as temperatures drop below the freezing point.
– Jenna Monk