When should you change over to winter tires in Canada? Changing to winter tires is strongly recommended in most parts of Canada. Investing in winter tires will allow your all-season tires to last longer. Using all-season tires in Canadian winters will only serve to degrade them, as they aren't meant for such extreme weather. Ultimately, having to change your tires is a small price to pay for the ease, comfort, and safety that comes with winter tires in Canada.
Canadians know seasonal changes possibly better than any other drivers in the world. when hot, humid days give way to crisp, cold mornings and the leaves on the trees start to turn, it’s clear fall is on its way. Paying attention to the weather, and specifically to the daily average temperatures, is critical when it comes to swapping out your summer or all-season tires for winter tires.
Although a general rule of thumb in Canada is to use winter tires between Thanksgiving and Easter, the exact date will vary each year depending on the weather. As winter tires perform best in temperatures of 7 degrees Celsius and below, we recommend paying close attention to the daily temperatures, and when the average dips below 7 degrees for a full week, you’ll know it’s time to install your winter tires.
Similarly, winter tires should be removed in the Spring before temperatures start climbing again. this means that once temperatures are consistently back up to 7 degrees or above, your winter tires should be swapped out.
Another factor to consider is whether winter tires are mandatory in the province you live in, as this can also dictate when you install and remove them. Quebec is the only province in Canada that has a province-wide winter tire mandate in place between December 1st and march 15th. British Columbia also has winter tire requirements, but rather than being throughout the province, it’s only on specific highways, largely in the interior and northern parts of the province. be sure to check whether your province or territory has any winter tire requirements before deciding when to change them.
To swap out all-season or summer tires for winter tires and vice versa, most Canadian drivers visit an auto body shop in their area. A tire change typically consists of unmounting the existing tires, mounting the new tires, balancing them, and reinstalling them. The price of this service varies depending on where you live in Canada, as well as whether you visit a small, local auto body shop or a major automotive retailer.
However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $60 to $100 for each tire change, which you’ll likely need to do twice per year. Another option is to attempt to change your tires yourself or invest in dedicated rims, which significantly reduce the work and cost of changing your tires.
If you’re installing winter tires once the cold sets in, then that means you’re removing another set of tires from your vehicle and storing them over the winter. Similarly, when your winter tires are removed in the spring, you’ll be storing them until the following winter.
To ensure the longevity and quality of your tires, proper storage is vital. First, you’ll want to clean your tires. Use some water, detergent, and a brush and remove all the grime, dirt, and build-up on the tires. The next step is to bag them up. Search for large, airtight plastic bags that are big enough to fit each tire. Ensure the bag contains no moisture and squeeze out as much excess air as possible, then tie or tape it shut.
The final step is finding a place to store your tires. They should never be exposed to the sun or anywhere that is too hot or too cold. Think dry, cool, and moderately ventilated. We generally recommend avoiding spots like the garage or shed, which are vulnerable to temperature fluctuations, and instead choosing somewhere more protected like a basement.
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