The days are shorter, the air is crisp, and your car feels like a refrigerator when you turn it on in the morning. Welcome to another winter in Canada. Now before you hit the road in that warmed-up vehicle, you need to think about road safety during this longest of seasons.
Winter tires are four pieces of rubber that not only give you peace-of-mind but also much-needed grip and stability on those snowy, icy roads. These tires outperform all-weather and all-season tires when temperatures drop below 7 degrees Celsius. But does that mean you change over to winter (or snow) tires the day that mercury hits 7 degrees?
Knowing when to change over to winter tires depends on various factors including temperature and provincial regulations. We’ll help you get a grip on when to swap on (and out) your winter tires and if there are any provincial rules that you should know about.
Besides Quebec and BC, all other provinces recommend the use of winter tires. However, in Manitoba, a snow-heavy province with mostly flat surfaces, you can receive a low-interest loan from the government to purchase qualifying winter tires and associated costs. As for when it’s time to put them on, temperatures usually hit around 7 degrees on average around late October, according to The Weather Network.
Driving on winter tires when the thermometer starts to head north can be destructive. Winter tires are designed to perform best on ice and snow, not when the asphalt is hot from the sun. It’s not only unsafe, but it will also cost you money because the winter tires will degrade faster. Therefore, it’s imperative to change back to your normal tires at the right time.
Unless you live in Quebec (March 15) or areas of BC (March 31), use the 7 degrees Celsius rule to know when to change back to standard tires in the spring. If the temperature heads above 7 degrees, go to your automotive specialist for a changeover or possibly do it yourself if possible.