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Winter Tires in Ontario

Winter Tires in Ontario

Many drivers, choose to invest in a quality set of winter tires. Winter tires are engineered specifically for cold, snowy, winter days.


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Depending on your driving habits and which part of Ontario you live in, winter tires might be necessary. Although they are not legally mandated in the province of Ontario, many drivers, especially those who drive frequently or who live in more rural or northern parts of the province, choose to invest in a quality set of winter tires. While some drivers prefer to leave all-season tires on their vehicle year-round, most all-season tires are not designed to perform well in temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius or snowy conditions. Winter tires on the other hand are engineered specifically for cold, snowy, winter days. They typically feature deep, blocky treads, biting edges, and soft rubber that work to excavate water and slush more efficiently and maintain flexibility, even in sub-zero temperatures. This means that even if you’ve just received several inches of fresh snow and the road hasn’t been plowed, your winter tires will still provide the grip and traction you need. For superior stability, handling and cornering, and traction in all kinds of winter conditions, winter tires are your best bet. They also provide many Ontario drivers with peace of mind knowing that whatever winter weather is thrown their way - be it ice, slush, or heavy snow - their vehicle can handle it.

What is the difference between All-Season Tires and Winter Tires?

Many Ontario drivers are tempted to leave their all-season tires on all year. After all, doing so is far more convenient and is often considered to be less expensive. However, the reality is that improper usage of all-season tires can do more harm than good, requiring you to replace them sooner than you might think. To understand whether winter tires or all-season tires are right for you, let’s consider the key differences. First, despite the name, all-season tires are really only designed for spring, summer, and fall conditions in most parts of Canada. This is because the vast majority of all-season tires only perform well in temperatures of 7 degrees Celsius and above. Although some might offer a satisfactory level of performance in light snow conditions, they are not built for months on end of freezing temperatures, slush, and ice. All-season tires are a hybrid between summer and winter tires, offering a few key design features of each. For example, most all-season tires will feature a finer tread pattern that is smooth and straight to repel water and a hard compound that makes them more durable. This allows the tire to perform well in both dry summer and wet spring or fall conditions. In contrast, winter tires are made of soft tread rubber and feature high sipe densities, biting edges, and deeper tread blocks, all of which work to grip snow and push away slush and ice. They were specifically engineered to perform in temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius and can handle all types of winter weather. So if you live in a part of Ontario that sees regular snowfall, icy patches, and mounds of slush on the road, winter tires are a must.

When Should I Change to Winter Tires?

As all Ontario drivers know, the weather in Canada isn’t exactly the most predictable. And with the rise of climate change, the weather is becoming even harder to predict. This means that rather than swapping out your all-season or summer tires for winter tires on a certain date each year, it’s a better idea to go by temperature. Both all-season and summer tires stop performing optimally in temperatures of 7 degrees Celsius and below. So once your daily average temperatures start to dip below 7 degrees, it’s time to swap them out for winter tires. Generally speaking, you should expect to use winter tires from November to March in most parts of Ontario.

Why You Shouldn’t Use All-Season Tires in Winter

The main reason you shouldn’t use all-season tires in winter is because of decreased performance. The design features of all-season tires are not suited to snowy or extreme cold conditions, which means that performance will be compromised if driven in Ontario’s harsh winter weather. Plus, all-season tires do not have the necessary grip and traction for icy or snowy surfaces, which will make you more prone to hydroplaning and skidding. Using all-season tires in winter can make driving far less safe for yourself and other drivers. Similar to how you shouldn’t use all-season tires in harsh winter conditions, winter tires also shouldn’t be used in summer conditions. As a rule of thumb, winter tires are for winter driving only, while summer tires are for summer driving only. This is because the soft rubber that allows winter tires to remain flexible in colder temperatures becomes a liability when driving in warmer temperatures. The rubber is too soft for hot, dry asphalt, which leads it to wear down quicker. Additionally, the densely-siped tread compound of winter tires, while excellent for removing snow and slush, will result in slower, less precise steering in summer weather, making your vehicle feel less stable. Winter tires also have a higher rolling resistance than summer tires, which will make for a noisier ride and higher fuel consumption. Overall, both all-season and summer tires are simply not suited to driving in winter, and winter tires are not suited to driving in summer. While all-season tires may provide a few additional features that offer slightly better winter performance than their summer counterparts, they are still ultimately not the best or safest choice when you live somewhere with freezing temperatures and regular snowfall for months on end.

Choose Winter Tires at Tire Warehouse

Tire Warehouse is the #1 online tire provider in Canada. We have been in business for over four decades, and during that time, have developed the most extensive tire inventory in the country. We carry a wide range of winter tires to suit all vehicles, from compact cars to pick-up trucks. We have also partnered with the leading tire brands in the world, including Bridgestone, Toyo, Michelin, Radar, Firestone, and more. Offering customers a more convenient way to shop for tires, Tire Warehouse has an easy-to-navigate online store, fast delivery times, and $5 shipping per tire. We even have a mobile installation service, where an installer can install and balance your new tires on the spot. For all your winter tire needs, choose Tire Warehouse. Contact us today to speak to an expert who will help you find the tires of your dreams.

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