Let’s Talk Winter Tires: 2021

Let’s Talk Winter Tires: 2021

Does this sound familiar? It's late fall or early winter, and the chilly air is creeping colder and colder with each passing day. The leaves have fallen, and the ground is holding onto the frost. Snowy weather is on the way, and you ask yourself a question we all tend to have this time of year,

"Should I switch over to winter tires?" 

The correct answer is yes! Absolutely, yes!

But the truth is that many Canadians haven't made the switch by late fall. In fact, many might not even make the switch at all. It is important to realize that winter tires help keep control of your vehicle in rough road conditions during the icy time of the year. Purchasing a quality set is the best way to keep you and others safe while driving.

Let's talk about the other multiple reasons it's essential to swap into some good winter tires.

Are Winter Tires Really Necessary?

Convincing someone on why they should get winter tires isn't tricky. Truthfully, there are many more benefits of investing in a good quality set of winter's than you might think. It is proven to lower the accident rate and protect you and your passengers as well as other drivers on the road. Also, switching over automatically extends the life of both your winters and your previously used tires.

As the air becomes crisper and your jackets come out from the closet, it usually means you should start thinking about swapping. The rule of thumb is that you should probably switch to winter tires when the temperature is 7 degrees Celsius or lower. It’s okay to take advantage of October offers to ensure you beat the winter rush & guarantee you have your tires on before that 7 degrees Celsius hits. This temperature is used to gauge when you need to protect yourself against slippery conditions and loss of traction on the road. 

Aside from the valuable safety features of winter tires, did you know that you can even save money by possibly lowering your insurance rate by making the switch? Typically, the cut-off date for this is November 1st, but looking into it can save you money while being safe.

When you put it like that, it's hard to say no to making the swap.

Winter Tires vs. All Season Tires 

Let's touch on the difference between winter tires and all-season tires. The latter might not be as great as an option as you might think when it comes to driving on snowy roads. 

Winter tires are specifically created for the icy and harsh conditions that the season brings each year. The tread and rubber used are designed to have a more reliable grip on the road for better traction. All-season's lean more towards being compatible with warmer and cooler weather, not freezing, so it’s crucial to keep the 7 degrees Celsius in mind. Thus, the rubber is different from that of exclusively winters.

All seasons can't compare to winter tires when testing endurance in cold and harsh weather. Winter tires are far more safe and the quality is superior for the season. Their misleading name makes some drivers think they are fully protected as the seasons change, but that is not the case. Opting out of swapping into a safer and sturdier pair of winters due to this misinformation puts drivers at risk.

How Often Do I Need a New Set? And How Much Do They Cost?

The life of your tires really depends on your area and how much you drive. Certain provinces in Canada make it mandatory to switch to winter tires due to the area's harsher climate, but the average timeframe is 4-6 years before needing to switch. If you take care of your tires and store them properly when the time comes to take them off, then you can possibly get a few winter seasons out of them before needing to purchase a new set. 

When it comes to cost, the price can vary pending on the vehicle & tire brand. We offer good/better/best options to find the ultimate solution for you and your vehicle. Check out Tire Tool and Service Specials page created to help our customers! If you would like some more information on tire costs, call us at 1-289-803-1777 and our expert service team will be happy to go over any questions you may have.

When purchasing your tires consider using Scotiabanks GM Visa Card. You can earn up to 5% in GM Earnings* on the first $5,000 spent annually and 2% thereafter. Did you know, $1 in GM Earnings = $1 off the purchase price or lease of a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac?* Such great savings!

Some tips on extending the life of your winters:

  • Drive carefully.
  • Keep them clean.
  • Store them properly.
  • Do not use them in the summer months.
  • Ensure you are buying a quality set to begin with. 

Checking the Quality and Condition of Your Tires

If you are unsure, it is vital to get a professional opinion on whether or not your tires need to be, well, retired. Like most things, tires have an expiration date that determines when a tire is no longer at its top quality. The date, along with the manufacturing information, should be located on your tire. This date will help you determine if it has been 4-6 years since they were made. Falling into that time bracket might mean it's time to invest in something new.

When you attend your service appointment with VanDusen’s we take the time and care to measure and document your tires tread depth. If your tires show 6/32 we begin the discussion of exploring new tire options. Anything under 6/32 we recommend replacing your tires, depending on your driving habits.

Having worn tires puts you at significant risk of sliding off the road during harsh weather conditions. To be aware of your tire and car's condition, you should frequently do a "walk-around." Circle your vehicle while looking for any signs of wear and tear that need your attention.

Winter Storage and Maintenance

There are several things to remember when storing and taking care of your winter tires. The #1 thing to remember is to keep them in a dry environment out of direct sunlight. By maintaining the surrounding temperature you avoid drying out the rubber.

Take advantage of VanDusen’s tire storage option. Saving your space and your back from unloading and loading your tires into your garage or shed. If storing your winters is an issue, call us at 905-427-2500 for more information on tire storage with VanDusen's.

Researching and Getting the Right Size and Type 

There are many tire options out there to choose from with different styles and design features. As a result, it can be overwhelming when it comes time to purchase your own. A truck's tire will be a different fit than that of a compact SUV. Checking your owner's manual for your vehicle make and model before making a purchase is a smart way to guarantee the correct product. An easy way to know what you need is by using our Tire Tool and exploring your options.

Check along the tire's surface, and there will be symbols to quickly inform you of the tire's intended purpose and design. Winter tires are often labelled with an Alpine Symbol - ASTM F1805, or a 3 Peak Mountain with a snowflake in the middle. These signal that the tires have met the proper testing requirements for slippery and snowy conditions.

M&S/M+S tires may also be marked alongside with a snowflake; many people often confuse these for winter tires. M&S/M+S are actually made to only endure lower levels of snow and mud. For this reason, your should invest in proper winter tires for the lower temperatures that our great Canadian winters typically bring.

We're Here to Help!

If you are having any trouble finding the type of tire you need, just contact our service department. Our expert service team will assist you in every step of the process.

A quick google search may not be enough information for you to get the tires you need. If you are having any trouble finding out the type of tire, visit us on our site and use our tire tool! We want you to get the tires that are best for you and your vehicle. Or contact our expert service team, and they will assist you in every step of the process of getting you that perfect match– and they love to talk tires!

Take Care of Your Tires and Maintain Their Quality 

Tires aren't made to last forever. As we mentioned their lifespan is abut 4-6 years depending on your driving patterns. Between harsh weather and constant driving, they can wear out faster than expected without proper preservation. Our service department is fully equipped to keep your tires in top shape for the next winter season. 

Some recommended maintenance is getting your vehicle aligned and tires periodically rotated to balance out your vehicle. Remember, keep the pressure at its recommended number, typically found on the tire itself, and take care of the rims. For unexpected tire leaks, it's wise to keep a spare tire, a car-compatible pressure pump, and a tire repair kit.

Don't Commit Half Way, Swap Out All Four Tires

Some people may be tempted to get either the two front or the two back changed over when buying winter tires. Though, the reality is that the vehicle is less safe when mixing winter tires and all-season tires. Investing in all four tires is the most powerful way to help protect yourself and others encase of ice and loss of traction. Confidence and control are essential when driving on harsh road conditions with black ice and slippery slush.

We hope that this information has been helpful when it comes to understanding the importance of swapping into winter tires. At VanDusen's, we want nothing but the best and safest conditions for you and your vehicle. We take pride in our expert staff and their ability to help you get the service you need. Call us at 1-289-803-1777 to get your tires changed over so you can drive comfortably this winter.

Contact us today, and let's talk tires! Don't delay, book today!