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When should you Change Winter Tires

When should you Change Winter Tires

When is it time to change over to your winter tires? The unpredictability of spring and fall weather in Winnipeg means giving a fixed date is impossible, but the general rule is that once the temperature is reliably and consistently below 7°C, it's time to switch from summer or all-season tires to specialist winter ones. However, the picture can be a little more complicated.

 

Why are Winter Tires Needed?

Why are Winter Tires Needed

 

The compounds used to make tires behave differently at varying temperatures. The amount of flex and grip they provide depends largely on how soft they are, and the makeup of the tire has a huge influence on this. At typical summer temperatures, summer tires are relatively soft and provide excellent grip while still draining away surface wetness.

 

However, as the temperature falls, the tires stiffen and don't grip the tarmac as closely. What's more, the tires can start to skate over water or ice rather than directing them away from underneath the vehicle.

 

Winter Tires Are Tougher

Winter Tires Are Tougher

 

In contrast, winter tires start off with a stiffer texture at higher temperatures but stay softer as the mercury falls below zero. Unlike summer tires which can turn hard as ice themselves, winter tires maintain their grip even as the temperature plummets.

 

Unfortunately, the performance of winter tires drops off considerably as soon as the temperature rises. In fact, in summer temperatures the loss of grip is so dramatic that drivers can lose control of their vehicles completely at speeds as low as 85km/h, according to tests conducted by the CAA. Likewise, attempting to drive with all-season tires at anything approaching -10°C is taking a serious risk with safety, even without any snow or ice.

 

When to Change Winter Tires

When to Change Winter Tires

 

The 7°C point is the benchmark for a winter tire change, but you don't need to switch your tires every day to follow the weather. Even with summer or all-season tires, an occasional early or late snowstorm can cause difficulties, but with a little care, you'll be able to drive. But once the cold has fully arrived, and low temperatures can be expected more often than not, it's time to make the change.

 

If you need a quick and efficient tire change in Winnipeg, our service department will be happy to help, whether you're switching from summer to winter or back again for spring.

Categories: Guidelines, Tips