Winter VS All-Season Tires
Every year at this time, the same debate ensues: should I buy winter tires or am I safe to travel on my all-season tires? To correctly answer this question, you must first understand the difference between winter and all-season tires. So, let’s start by explaining The Rule of Seven.
Winter tires have a deeper tread and are made from a softer rubber compound. This allows them to grip the road better, unlike all-season tires, which lose their traction ability when the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius. Unfortunately, many people wait until snow is on the ground and then scramble to book an appointment at the local tire shop. When it comes to winter driving, it’s best to be proactive. Once we experience seven consistent days of 7 degrees Celsius – snow or not – it’s time to switch to winter tires. The team at Gearhead Automotive Services can help you make the right decision based on your vehicle and driving demands.
Most vehicles come from the factory with all-season tires. We might assume that all-season means the tires are perfect for all seasons – spring, summer, fall and winter. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Think of your all-season tires like a pair of running shoes. Great for walking or jogging during warmer weather, adequate on a crisp autumn day, but not so great come winter when the snow is deep, and ice covers the sidewalks and walking paths. Better to upgrade to a good pair of winter boots – designed for trekking through snow, ice and slush.
It’s the same with winter tires. As mentioned, winter tires contain softer rubber than all-season tires. The purpose of such rubber compounds is to prevent tires from stiffening in low temperatures, which reduces traction when you need it most. In addition, winter tires’ unique rubber compounds are designed to remain flexible, enabling them to grip the road better.
Winter tires have deeper treads, unique patterns and cuts known as sipes to dispel water and move with greater ease through snow, ice, slush and on cold, dry pavement. You can quickly identify a winter or snow tire by the M+S and three-peak mountain snowflake symbol on the sidewall – both are industry standards
In Alberta, winter driving conditions are ever-changing. A blizzard with black ice can follow a warm day when the snow is melting. Add to that increased traffic congestion, especially on major highways and the need for proper tires becomes obvious. Think about it. Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that meets the road. Winter tires dramatically improve your vehicle’s performance and handling, assuring you and your family get home safely!
By switching between all-season and winter tires, you significantly reduce the maintenance costs on your vehicle. Both sets of tires last longer as each is used for only a part of the year. It’s a win/win situation that will enhance your safety while driving.
Most of us are familiar with the differences between all-season and winter tires, but you might ask, what about all-weather tires? Think of all-weather tires as a hybrid combining the best of both tires featuring the straight treads of an all-season with the block treads of a winter tire. All-weather tires outperform all-season tires on snow, ice and slush and will save you on the cost of a second set. All weather tires feature the mountain and snowflake symbol and are recognized by Transport Canada as suitable for winter driving conditions.
However, all-weather tires do not outperform winter tires, so the choice is yours. If you’d like to know more about tires, talk to the tire team at Gearhead Automotive Services.
At Gearhead Automotive Services, we know tires! We’re here to provide expert advice on new tire sales and service. We’ll help you find the right tires for every driving condition, and we’re here to provide proper maintenance, including inflation, tire rotations, balancing and wheel alignment.
We handle all the major brands like BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Cooper, Michelin, Firestone, Continental, Toyo, Nitto, Falken, Hankook, Mickey Thompson and many others. All brands are installed by the licensed Gearhead technicians you trust. Contact us today for a quote.
And if you’re concerned about an off-season set of tires taking up precious space in your home or garage, relax. For your convenience, we offer on-site tire storage – secure, fully insured, with 24/7 alarm monitoring. In addition, we’ll give your tires and rims a quick clean and record tire size, tread depth, and tire make and model on your invoice. The best part? Seasonal tire storage – up to 8 months – is just $39.95.
We’re Gearhead Automotive Services – your one-stop Red Deer Mechanic. Find us at 7597 Edgar Industrial Drive. Call us at 403-358-5801 or email email@example.com