Why winter tires are essential for driving in Canada

Winter begins at 7°C

If you call an insurance company looking for a quote on auto insurance, one of the key questions the agent will ask is if your vehicle will have winter tires installed. In some parts of Canada, winter tires are mandated by the provincial government. But regardless of where you live, most insurance companies offer discounts for swapping to specifically designated tires during the winter.

Why are winter tires better?

Winter tires are specifically designed to excel in wintery conditions such as snow, ice and cold temperatures. They increase traction and help your vehicle brake, steer and accelerate with maximum safety.

How are they different from other tires?

Winter tires use soft rubber compounds that remain flexible and grippy in cold temperatures. They also use deeper tread blocks with special patterns that clear snow efficiently as the tire rotates. Tires should be installed in match sets of four to achieve maximum effect.

When should winter tires be installed?

Typical all-season tires can start losing grip as soon as temperatures drop below 7°C. Depending on where you live, this threshold might happen earlier or later in the season. Either way, rather than waiting for the first snowfall, when dealerships tend to be busier than usual, beat the rush and have your winter tires installed early.

Should I install winter rims as well as tires?

While service teams can certainly swap out your summer tires and install winters on your factory wheels, consider going with an entire wheel and tire package. Mounted packages are easier to install and protect your OE wheels from harsh winter conditions.

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