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Winter Tires – How to Purchase and Maintain Them (Part 1 of a 3-Part Series)

posted by Maaco Saskatoon    |   February 26, 2014 08:40

When purchasing winter tires, the customer is often overwhelmed with decisions – the first of which is whether or not to purchase them in the first place.

 

Winter tires are costly, but well worth the investment. Built for all types of vehicles, these special tires allow the driver to deal with icy roads to reduce the chance of spinning out or fishtailing on corners. In hilly areas driving in winter can be a hazard as well, with snow and ice, and a nervous driver’s mind can be put better at ease knowing that their braking capacity is strengthened with winter tires, and that they will be able to stop at a shorter distance, to allow for the driver’s maximum reaction time.

 

Since the elasticity of regular all-season tires is decreased when the outside temperature drops below a certain point - 7°C/45°F –the customer can expect the performance of their all-season or summer tires to decrease as well. That being said, the customer can expect increased performance in their winter tires, because their winter tires are built differently, with a compound that maintains elasticity. This is crucial in a collision situation.

Transport Canada and the Rubber Association of Canada are advising motorists to always be mindful about safe driving in winter.

Vehicle handling is improved when tires of the same type, size, speed rating and load index are installed on all four wheels. View a demonstration video showcasing the benefits of using four winter tires of the same type, size, speed rating and load index by visiting visit http://www.rubberassociation.ca/wintertirevideos/wintertirevideos.html.

Snow Tires

Tires marked with the pictograph of a peaked mountain with a snowflake meet specific snow traction performance requirements, and have been designed specifically for use in severe snow conditions.

 

If you intend to drive in severe winter conditions, install four winter tires that meet the "snow tire" designation on your vehicle. These snow tires will assist you in controlling your vehicle safely in slippery conditions.

Tires marked "M + S" – or "mud and snow" tires, also known as "all-season" tires— continue to provide safe all-weather performance, but may not always be suitable for severe snow conditions. Wide, high performance tires, other than those that are specifically designed as snow tires, are not considered suitable for use on snow covered roads.

Which Snow Tires are Available (And Where)

You can contact tire dealers or manufacturers to obtain information on which models meet this new designation.

Please remember:

• Install four winter tires - To help maintain control and stability of your vehicle in icy conditions, Transport Canada and the Rubber Association of Canada recommend that you install winter tires in sets of four.

• Mixing tires with different tread patterns, internal construction, and size degrades the stability of the vehicle and should be avoided.

• As a tire wears, snow traction is reduced. Tires that are worn close to the tread-wear indicators have reduced traction and should not be used on snow-covered roads or in severe snow conditions, and should be replaced as soon as possible.

• Proper air pressure extends tread life, improves safety, and reduces fuel consumption — all vital factors in saving energy and protecting the environment. Tire pressure decreases as temperatures drop, so be sure to check the pressures at least once a month when the tires are cold, especially and preferably after the car has been out all night to get an accurate reading. (For more information on proper tire inflation, please see the publication “Riding on Air” at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng//motorvehiclesafety/tp-200.htm.)

If you have winter tires and still find yourself in a collision, Maaco Collision and Auto Repair will take care of all your car’s needs, during and after, with our Customer For Life program. Call us at (306) 653-5655 or visit us at www.maacosaskatoon.ca, or come see us at 659 51st St E, so that we can help you get back on the road. Remember, we can’t prevent an accident, but we can make it like it never happened

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