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Automotive 101: What’s the Right Time to Put My Summer Tires Back On?

The bottom line is winter tires are the only way to guarantee the best possible traction and control when driving in the freezing months. It’s a matter of safety, not profit, and that’s proven by the province of Quebec’s choice to make the use of Winter tires enforceable by law because it has been proven to dramatically reduce the number of accidents, collisions and injuries. We hope that at some point in the near future this becomes law across all of Canada. All-season tires do their best, but make no mistake: they don’t come close to performing as well as winter tires can during the coldest months.

And don’t make the mistake of believing that 4-wheel or all-wheel drive is a magical solution either. If you don’t have proper winter tires on an all-wheel-drive vehicle, you simply have four spinning wheels instead of two. History has proven that plenty of 4x4s can be found in the ditch alongside every other type of vehicle following a heavy snowfall or ice storm because their owners felt a false confidence. For AWD or 4WD to work effectively you still need traction, just like any other vehicle.

Most tire manufacturers recommend switching back to Summer tires when temperatures consistently reach a minimum of 7 degrees Celsius for at least a week. You can use summer tires below that temperature and winter tires above that temperature of course, but you’ll gain the most benefit and make your money stretch the farthest if you use that as your guide.

Winter tires are designed specifically for extreme cold. Their tread compound is made of materials that stay flexible, even during extreme cold, so that you still have traction on freezing roads and ice. Driving a winter tire on dry pavement during the warmer months isn’t exactly dangerous, but keep in mind your car will not stop as quickly or handle as well, and it will definitely wear them down that much faster, meaning you will likely have to buy a new set much sooner.

Click the SERVICE REQUEST button below to arrange a time when professionals can switch the tires and/or wheels of your vehicle back to their summer sets. It’s also a good idea to have the balance of each set checked and, if you saw any unusual wear and tear through the winter (such as bumping a curb or hitting a deep pothole) please consider having your vehicle realigned to ensure your tires last as long as possible.