Do You Really Need Winter Tires?
Long answer short, in the harsh Canadian winters, we strongly recommend that you invest in a good set of reliable winter tires. Winter tires have been proven to provide better traction on the road when the temperature averages 7 degrees Celcius or colder. When it comes to the safety of yourself and your family, be sure you are prepared for the coming icy and snowy roads.
When you look at a tire, it’s actually composed of two main parts:
- Tire: the black rubber doughnut
- Wheel or rim: the circular metal structure that the tire wraps around
You have two options when buying winter tires: buy only the rubber tires and have them swapped onto your car’s existing rims, or buy winter tires that come with their own rims.
If you choose to purchase only the rubber tires, you can save money on the purchase but you’ll need to spend a little extra money and time getting the rubber swapped out on your rims.
If you prefer buying winter tires with their own rims, it’ll be quicker and easier to replace the tires (you might even be able to do it yourself), but you’ll need to pay extra for the rims.
What is the difference between Summer and Winter tires?
Summer tires have a dedicated rubber compound that delivers excellent grip and handling on both dry and wet roads in warmer conditions. They also have reduced rolling resistance and therefore provide greater fuel efficiency and generate less road noise.
The tread pattern on a summer tire is more streamlined than a winter tire, with fewer grooves for water clearance, maximizing the contact patch with the road. Consequently, the vehicle has superior traction and braking during dry summer months.
On the other hand, The tread compound of a winter tire contains more natural rubber, so it doesn’t harden when the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius. Instead, it stays flexible and limber in cold climates to reduce the stopping distance when braking.
The tread design has deeper blocks that will dig into snow and ice to provide more grip. The winter tire also has a lot of sipes, which are excellent for clearing water and slush from the path of the car and mitigating the risk of hydroplaning.
Winter tires shouldn’t be used for the summer season. The compound is far too soft for dry asphalt, meaning it will wear out quicker. Moreover, the increased rolling resistance will lead to higher fuel consumption and road buzz.
It’s important to remember that your Toyota’s driving features like 4-wheel drive (4WD), anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control can be useful for accelerating and maneuvering, but they do almost nothing for stopping or slowing down. To get better traction on a snowy or icy road, there’s no substitute for winter tires.
Don’t wait too late into the winter season before pulling the trigger on your winter tire purchase. We receive the majority of our winter tire inventory in the autumn. While we always strive to have an incredible selection for our customers to choose from, options of tires can become limited as time goes by.