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Are winter tires worth the money and effort?

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Are winter tires worth the money and effort?

It’s that time of year again. Temperatures are dropping and we are beginning to see more white landscape than before. That means it’s time to begin preparing for winter, performing winter checks and inspecting your winter tires before you need them. But are winter tires worth the effort and expense?

With all season tires offering year-round performance and good levels of grip in most situations, why do we need winter tires?

The case for winter tires

To talk drivers on lower latitudes and they won’t appreciate the true value of winter rubber. They don’t have to cope with -40C or snowdrifts the size of your house. It’s a situation not unique to Canada but we can get winter worse than most inhabited placed on earth.

Here are three reasons why Canadians really should consider winter tires.

Temperature

When the mercury drops to 7C or below, all-weather tires don’t work so well. The rubber compound hardens and grip levels reduce. Winter tires are specially designed to cope with lower temperatures and come into their own the lower the thermometer goes. At temperatures below 7C, grip increases on winter tires instead of decreasing like with all-weather tires.

Traction in ice and snow

If you place all-season tires next to winter tires you will notice a distinct difference in the tread pattern. All-season tires are designed to displace water and minimize aquaplaning. Winter tires are designed for ice and snow and for displacing more material. This can make a huge different to grip and stability on the road and is a key advantage of winter tires.

Winter tires can still displace water so are still grippy in the thaw but they really shine when the road is frozen or covered in snow.

Stopping distance

Stopping distance is often forgotten when it comes to tires but in adverse conditions, it’s an essential consideration. UK road safety organization Tyresafe measured stopping distances between all weather (summer) tires and winter tires and found that when the temperatures dip below that 7C mark, winter tires stop a vehicle from 100km/h to 0km/h in 65.7m while summer tires took 70.5m.

That’s 5m longer to stop. In the average emergency situation, that 5 metres could literally be the difference between life and death, an accident or near miss.

If those three reasons are enough to convince you of the need for winter tires, visit your nearest Car Nation Canada dealership and we’ll fit them for you!

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