Winter is just around the corner and getting your vehicle ready for the cold, snow and ice is crucial for safe winter driving.
Some Albertan drivers choose to stick with all-season tires all year round as they feel comfortable driving in winter conditions and change their driving habits accordingly. However, for drivers seeking the safest winter driving experience, winter tires are highly recommended.
When low temperatures set in, the elasticity of a tire’s rubber compound is decreased and the rubber becomes stiff. This stiffening results in reduced traction, which makes it harder for your vehicle’s tires to grip the pavement and increases both your braking distance and stopping time.
Winter tires are designed to maintain their elasticity at even extremely low temperatures like -30 degrees Celsius, providing superior traction and grip. The tread of winter tires is also specifically designed to battle icy, snow-covered roads. Modern winter tires provide 50% or more winter traction than all-season tires.
You should think of winter tires as cold weather tires, not just snow tires. Rather than waiting for the first snowfall to have your winter tires installed, put them on as soon as the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius. At this temperature, the rubber compound in your all-season or summer tires is already beginning to lose its elasticity, reducing the tires’ performance.
When you are shopping for winter tires, look for the mountain snowflake symbol. Tires that display this symbol are designed specifically for cold weather and harsh snow conditions, and have met or surpassed the snow traction performance requirements set by The Rubber Association of Canada.
Lastly, make sure to install four winter tires, not just two. Installing only two winter tires, either on the front or the rear of your vehicle, is quite dangerous and could result in a complete loss of control and/or unwanted and unexpected handling.
Looking to buy new winter tires for your vehicle? Contact Gateway Toyota Scion’s Parts Department at 1 (866) 920-6131.
Ready to have your winter tires installed? Book a service appointment online now!
Gateway Toyota Scion