Driving conditions in Canada can be challenging, depending on the time of year. Many people choose to equip their vehicles with different tires, according to the season and weather. Doing so many improve the car’s ability to handle difficult weather conditions.
Ultimately, the type of tire that’s best for a car and its driver is a personal decision. When evaluating the options, keep these things in mind:
This type of tire performs as its name suggests: it’s appropriate for all seasons and weather conditions. The main drawback of driving on all-season tires is that they may wear faster than summer tires because they are slightly softer. They also may not perform as well as summer tires in dry conditions because the tread spacing is closer together to minimize road noise inside the vehicle.
All-season tires offer adequate performance during all weather conditions, in general. Their main advantage, and the reason many people choose them over summer and winter tires, is convenience. The driver never has to arrange to have tires changed from one season to next, nor do they have to store the off-season set of tires.
Most vehicles have all-season tires when they leave the factory. Choosing a combination of summer and winter tires is usually an upgrade and it comes at an additional charge.
All-season tires are a compromise between winter and summer tires, so they won’t perform as well in extreme weather conditions. People who choose all-season tires do so for the cost savings and convenience, not because all-season tires can outperform the combination of summer and winter tires.
Designed specifically to perform at their peak at temperatures above 7 degrees Celsius, summer tires are great for high performance vehicles as they increase the receptiveness of the car. Cornering and braking precision increases with the use of summer tires under the right conditions, as well. Rubber compounds specially designed to maximize performance and specialized tread patterns make summer tires a solid choice if handling is a priority.
This type of tire is designed to stick and grip in messy, slushy, snowy, and icy driving conditions. They aren’t as precise on dry roads, and they tend to wear faster than all-season and summer tires because they are made from a softer rubber material.
The tread pattern on winter tires facilitates moving slush and snow, as opposed to packing it into the tread. Thousands of tiny cavities in the tread also prevent the snow, ice, and water on winter roads from building up on the tire.
This allows for safer driving, and decreases the chances of losing control of the vehicle during severe winter weather or when there is a lot of snow and ice on the roads. The tread pattern usually includes a horizontal element that helps the vehicle retain traction on ice.
All season tires are an excellent choice for people who live in moderate climates, but for the extreme temperature swings and higher levels of snow and ice in most of Canada, a combination of summer and winter tires is a popular choice.
Keep in mind that simply changing out the front set of tires probably isn’t adequate. This creates a situation where the rear tires are more likely to skid in adverse driving conditions.
Drivers who prefer switching between summer and winter tires according to the weather but don’t have a convenient place to store the off-season tires should check with the dealership where they purchased the car. Many dealerships offer winter and summer tire storage to their customers.