Global warming seems to be affecting snow fall year after year, and one would expect that technologies such as front wheel drive, traction control and even four wheel drive would tend to lessen the need for a change of tires.
So, do we really need Winter Tires?
The answer is YES and believe it or not, more so than ever.
One aspect of the motor vehicle which has not really changed over the past year’s, is the contact patch, or the surface area within which our car comes in contact with the road. Even today, the area that each of our wheels comes in touch with the road is not much larger than the size of one of our hands. It really is not much when one thinks about it, and therefore, we want to be able to maximize the traction within this area as much as we can in order to get the most from our tires.
The other aspect not often mentioned is temperature, and that our all-season or summer tires become drastically less effective once the mercury falls below 7 degrees Celsius.
There are three components that make up the composition of a winter tire, the tread pattern, the sipes or lacerations in the tread and finally the tread compound. Although the first two components aid in our car’s traction on snow and ice, it is the latter of these components that one could say is the most crucial, why, because it affects our automobile’s performance in the snow and on ice, as well as on wet or dry surfaces. Yes, you read correctly, I did say dry!
The rubber compound used in winter tires is very different to the tires that we use the rest of the year, and they therefore react differently once the winter months are upon us. Simply put, if you put a winter tire and an all season tire in the freezer for a day or so, the result would be that your all-season tire tends to look like and feel like the pot roast you have next to it, while the winter tire remains flexible and soft. If we now apply these same principles of physics to our vehicle, would you rather drive on a flexible, pliable tire that is able to react under braking and handling in temperatures under 7 degrees or on four blocks of ice?
I assume by now that you know where I am headed with this, but here are two very important facts to be noted:
- From November through April, our average Temperature in many parts of Canada is below 7 degrees Celsius.
- Your car’s braking distance decreases by 40 to 60% when winter tires are installed during these months.
The best way to look at this is that below 7 degrees Celsius:
So, in conclusion, the reason to install winter tires should be that of safety, safety of the driver, the passenger and all the rest of us on the road, and they should be mandatory between November and April. They provide: Excellent driving-behavior on dry roads together with the best performance in winter.
For more information about vehicle maintenance and safety visit www.carcarecanada.ca.
MYTH 1 - My vehicle has 4WD, I do not need winter tires.
FALSE These systems do provide optimized power transmission delivery but provide minimal assistance in transverse handling and braking situations. Important weight combined with higher ground clearance are other factors that affect negatively the stability and control of these vehicles. With the installation of winter tires, the driver can feel optimized levels of traction during all maneuvers including acceleration, braking and handling situations.
MYTH 2 – I have ABS (antilock braking) I do not require winter tires.
FALSE These advanced systems are designed for vehicle stability, power transmission, and controlled braking and alone are not substitutes for optimized traction grip during all types of winter driving maneuvers including braking, acceleration, and handling.
MYTH 3 - It doesn’t snow that much anymore. I feel my all-season tires are my best choice.
FALSE Although all-season tires can be used in a moderate winter environment, winter tires provide the best cold weather performance below 44°F. This includes wet and dry in addition to snow/ice/slush surfaces where greater tread flexibility leads to better grip.
MYTH 4 - Braking distance is the same with my all-season tires in winter.
FALSE The braking distance of a winter tire compared to an all-season tire, depending on speed and road conditions, can be up to 10% shorter, or two vehicle lengths.
MYTH 5 - The outside temperature does not affect my tires air pressure.
FALSE Proper inflation is a critical part of tire care and should be checked monthly. In fact, for every 10°F lost in temperature, tires lose one pound of air pressure – so it’s especially important to check air pressure after the first frost. Also, keep in mind that properly inflated tires ensure optimum fuel efficiency and prevent irregular or premature wear.
MYTH 6 - Winter tires are too expensive.
FALSE The cost of winter tires is generally equivalent if not less than replacement tires on the vehicle. Furthermore, over the life cycle of your vehicle, you will need to purchase at least one extra set of tires on average. Equipping the vehicle with winter tires by the first winter season will represent the same cost at the end but will optimize the performance in treacherous driving conditions with the benefit of added safety.
Winter Tire Season is coming & Tire Rebates are coming too!
Watch our blog for tire rebate announcements coming soon!
Contact Mark’s for details! 905-844-1111
While it’s important to adjust driving habits to weather conditions, according to Marc Brazeau, President, Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada, the most imperative thing Canadians can do to protect themselves and their loved ones is transition to winter tires.
“The idea that all-season tires are as effective as winter tires is a dangerous misconception,” said Brazeau. “The design and durability of winter tires improves performance and enhances safety in a variety of road conditions. They’re the one and only choice for winter driving.”
Rubber in all-season tires starts to lose elasticity and harden at around 7°C, significantly reducing the tire’s ability to grip the road. Winter tires harden at around -40°C, allowing them to maintain elasticity in much colder temperatures.
Winter tires were legislated as mandatory in the province of Quebec in 2008. Research conducted by The Government of Quebec since winter tire use became universal in the province has proven conclusively what tire makers have long suspected: driving on winter tires saves lives and reduces serious injuries.
The 2011 study, which compared Quebec road accident statistics before and after winter tire use became compulsory, shows that in the past two winters, there has been a 5 per cent reduction in road-accident injuries that can be directly attributed to winter tire use.
The research concludes that widespread use of winter tires has prevented about 575 road-accident injuries per winter in Quebec. The study also found that vehicle accidents resulting in death or serious injury declined by 3 per cent.
While buying winter tires and having them installed can be expensive, the cost is a small investment in your safety and that of your fellow motorists.
“The cost of winter tires is negligible compared to the benefits like improved traction and reduced stopping distance,” said Brazeau. “As an industry, we need to make sure Canadians are educated on winter tires, and just how much they enhance driver safety.”
Article by http://www.carcarecanada.ca/
Winter Tire Rebates NOW ON!
Contact Mark’s for details! 905-844-1111
Some insurance companies are offering discounts for using Winter Tires – Ask Yours!
Mark’s Auto Service offers these great services:
The facts about winter tires and why all-season tires just won’t do.
Ever since the introduction of the all-season tire, Canadian drivers have slid and spun their tires through the coldest months of the year. Here’s the kicker: it doesn’t seem to matter whether there’s snow on the ground or not.
Unlike all-season tires, winter tires (identified by mountain and snowflake symbols on their sides) have tread patterns and softer rubber compounds that are tailored for colder conditions. And that helps them perform better once temperatures plummet, whether or not they have to dig through the white stuff.
All-season tires can turn into four round black rocks when the cold hits. Even on dry pavement, this starts at about 7c. So have them installed at Mark’s anytime after Labour Day. Don’t wait until November, it may be to late for black ice. And a study conducted by the Quebec Ministry of Transport showed that a proper winter tire can improve braking by up to 25 percent over an all-season radial and CAN IMPROVE COLLISION AVOIDANCE BY ABOUT 38 PERCENT!
Just add 2? No, it’s not your grand dad’s old Buick any more, where 2 snow tires were on the back to get moving . Today’s cars are lighter and use low profile all-season tires and in Winter you need 4 Winter tires. To maintain control in turns and to Stop. Have you ever tried to walk in snow with 1 running shoe and 1 winter boot? Well you car wouldn’t like it either.
One last note, the temperature can easily slide from 5 degrees to -15 degrees overnight, dropping tire pressure as much as 4 p.s.i. If you have an under-inflated tire, that could put you into the danger zone. Tires should be checked monthly. This is why we check the tires with every service.
Toronto Star Wheels
Saturday, October 30, 2010.
Now is the time to buy winter tires. Not tomorrow, not next week and certainly not next month.
The reason for this is that by mid-November, there will be nary a winter tire in the manufacturers’ warehouses. All of the 2010 winter tires will be at dealers and tire distributors. The racks will be empty waiting for next spring’s tires to start trickling in.
For the consumer, that means choices in brands and haggling ability over price diminish as the clock ticks. This is especially true if you have a size that is not common. By mid-November, the tire dealer will be telling you what brand you can have and what price you will pay.
When you start shopping for winter tires, arm yourself with some basic information. Start by knowing what your tire size, speed rating and load index numbers are. READ MORE
It’s time for winter tires and with forecasts of a cold and snowy fall and winter season, don’t delay in getting prepared!
While most new vehicles are equipped with all-season tires from auto manufacturers, there is a definite difference between all-season and winter tires. In light snow road conditions, all-season tires provide enough traction, but in heavy snow, slush, and ice conditions, winter tires are the proven answer to better road grip, cornering, braking and overall handling.
In one recent independent tire test, a BMW equipped with ani-lock brakes and winter tires stopped in 17.28 meters (59 feet) on a snow-packed road, while the same vehicle with all-season tires did not stop for another 9.17 meters.
Testing of acceleration and cornering determined that vehicles equipped with tires designed specifically for winter driving out-performed all-season tires in every test. Even vehicles equipped with traction control and stability systems achieved safer and more efficient handling with winter tires.
Winter tires simply provide better traction and vehicle control, as well as safer winter driving. So consider these factors as the season changes and take advantage of our October specials on several quality brands of winter tires!!
With the winter season fast approaching, it’s that time of year to get your car geared up with Winter Tires. Winter tires’ treads have more biting edges for better grip on snow and ice, while their softer compound remains flexible even in extremely low temperatures.
Learn more by watching Winter Tire Demonstration videos here!