Why Winter Tires?
Winter is fast approaching and you want to be prepared
Once the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius, it's time to make the switch from your all-season tires to your winter tires.
You might think to yourself, "Why do I need winter tires when I have all-season tires?". While all-season tires perform well in almost any weather, they have a different tread design than winter tires. Winter tires are specifically designed for the cold weather and the winter conditions. All-Season tires perform much more effectively with summer, fall and spring conditions.
Why Winter Tires?
Winter tires have rubber compounds formulated to stay soft and flexible for better traction and grip in cold weather. The design in a winter tire's tread is meant to provide you with more traction by pushing away slush and snow so you can brake and corner more effectively and safely. The rubber in an all-season tire starts to lose elasticity and harden at a temperature of 7 degrees Celsius, greatly reducing the tire's grip on the road. At -15 degrees Celsius, this type of tire will have completely lost all elasticity, whereas a winter tire will only harden around -40 degrees Celsius; therefore, retaining its elasticity for much longer.
Winter tires are marked with a pictograph of a peaked mountain with a snowflake. These tires meet specific snow traction and severe snow condition requirements during wintertime. Tires marked "M & S" or "Mud & Snow" tires, commonly known as "All Season" tires provide safe all-weather performance, but tend to fall short under severe winter conditions. Furthermore, Mud & Snow tire requirements are guidelines and involve no actual testing to receive its designation, while winter tires must meet strict performance-based requirements.
Other things to take note about Winter Tires
- Regardless if your vehicle is front-wheel drive or not, install winter tires on all four wheels. This will help with the overall maintenance of the control and stability of your vehicle in icy conditions. Transport Canada and the Rubber Association of Canada highly recommend that you install winter tires in sets of four.
- Avoid mixing tires with different tread designs because it degrades the stability of your vehicle and its performance.
- Do not use Cruise Control in the winter time.
- Give yourself and the vehicle in front of you enough time to stop safely. Avoid driving closely behind these vehicles
- Don't wait until the first snowfall, temperatures usually drop before then and affect the roads we travel on. Talk to our experts at Airport Mazda today to make the switch!
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