Kelleher Winter Tires
Who needs winter tires?
Manitoba!! All-season tires are not adequate for winter driving in most parts of Canada. The rubber compound of an all-season tire hardens as the temperature drops below 7°C, providing poorer grip, even on dry surfaces free of ice and snow. If you think of winter tires as “snow tires”, start thinking of them as “cold weather tires”. Winter tires feature technology that other tires do not in cold weather. The compound of a winter tire remains pliable and retains its grip in cold temperatures. They are deeper, edgier and more flexible. By ejecting snow more efficiently they give you a firmer grip on the road, breaking water tension to put more rubber in contact with the road, and conforming to irregularities on the road for traction.
Benefits of Winter Tires
- Increased safety
- Increased vehicle control, tire traction and performance
- Reduced possibility of accidents and repair expenses
5 Winter Tire Myths
“Winter tires are only for snow.”
Anyone who lives where the weather gets a little cooler can benefit from winter tires. In colder temperatures, all-season tires stiffen, reducing grip. The rubber compounds and other components that make up winter tires keep them flexible in temperatures below 7°C. Tire flexibility allows for better vehicle handling and stopping.
“Brakes alone stop my vehicle.”
Tires greatly affect your vehicle’s stopping distance. Especially when roads are slick, tires without specifically designed winter tread patterns can simply slide when the brakes are applied. Winter tires have deep grooves and small slits called sipes that cut through snow and ice, keeping more of your tire in contact with the road.
“My all-season tires work fine in the winter.”
All-season tires are great for mild weather changes, but anyone who experiences cooler winters can get better performance with winter tires. In addition to having flexible compounds and specialized tread designs, winter tires help make your all-season tire last longer: while the winter ones are on, the all-season ones aren’t wearing down.
“Winter tires are more expensive.”
The cost of winter tires is usually comparable to any other kind of tire. Plus, switching between winter tires and all-season or summer tires makes both sets last longer than they normally would.
“I have four-wheel drive so I don’t need winter tires.”
Ever see SUVs on the side of the road when the weather’s bad? They probably don’t have winter tires. In the winter, four-wheel drive can help you get going but won’t help when you’re trying to stop. Four-wheel drive helps you control the tires, but that doesn’t mean much if the tires themselves aren’t flexible enough or don’t have the right tread design to push snow and ice out of their way.
Selecting the Right Winter Tire
Review the options and select a winter tire based on your driving habits, road conditions in your area and your budget. If you need assistance in finding the right tire for you, contact us! An easy way to spot a true winter tire is to locate a graphic molded into the tire sidewall depicting a snowflake in a mountain:
Installing Winter Tires
Don’t wait until the first snowfall to install your winter tires. A good rule of thumb is to install them after five consecutive days of temperatures below 7°C. The first snowfall of the year usually results in a higher than average number of car accidents, due to the lack of snow tires. You can choose to have your winter tires installed on your existing rims or an additional set of designated winter rims can be purchased. Tires should be installed by a technician to ensure its safety and correct installation and level of inflation.
Removing Winter Tires
Remove your snow tires in the spring when the temperature is above 7°C for a minimum of three days in a row. Driving on your snow tires in warmer conditions will wear out the tread and reduce the useful life of the tires. When storing winter tires, make sure to rinse off any salt residue and let dry before placing in a cool, clean, well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or other sources of heat such as your basement or garage.
Winter Tire Care and Maintenance Tips
- From Garage to Road. While it’s great for protecting the car from snow, a heated garage is a potential risk to tires because extreme temperature changes can adversely affect tires. For the best results, don’t overheat the garage. When ready to drive, start the vehicle, roll it outside and allow the tires some time to adjust to the temperature.
- Tire Pressure. Tire pressure is always important, but it’s increasingly important in colder weather. Tires can lose one psi for every 5°C temperature drop. The most accurate way to check is to use a tire pressure gauge. Making sure tires are properly inflated keeps them ready for the challenges of winter driving.
- Tire Rotation. In addition to tire pressure, severe winter driving conditions can throw off tire balance and function. Rotate tires in anticipation of winter and examine them throughout the season for uneven wear.