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Practical advice on winter tires

Winter in Quebec is not easy, we all know this. It tends to drag on, and if we are a motorist, it certainly complicates our travels on the roads.

winter tire tips

Since 2008, it is mandatory to have tires specifically designed for winter use, a fact that provides at least some reassurance that other drivers around us are operating a car with suitable tires. These tires, marked with a pictogram of a mountain with a snowflake, are much more stable and lead to greater safety in cold weather.

In any case, law or not, taking on winter without tires that are designed to do so is not a very wise decision.

Yet, the world of winter tires is sometimes foreign to many consumers who are lost in the wake of all the information on the purchase and maintenance of winter tires that is found both in the media, and around the coffee machine in the office.

“Four season tires are fine,” or “your tire is finished when you see the nose of the caribou.” Let’s not forget “no need to put winter rims, and keep the same size tires, winter or summer.” In short, it is easy not to know what to make of it all.

That’s why we created a short guide that touches on all aspects related to winter tires in collaboration with Pneus Touchette and TireLand. This guide provides the most relevant information related to winter tires from purchase to maintenance through installation.

When should you replace your winter tires?

There are different ways to know if our tires are still suitable, or must be replaced. Ultimately, the legal tire thickness is 1.6 mm, but if you start the winter season with a thickness of less than 4.8 mm, it is likely that you can’t drive all winter without reaching the limit. So measure your tires before the start of the season, and remember the behavior of your vehicle at the end of last winter. Was it still satisfactory on snow and ice? If the answer is no, you need to replace your tires.

Which winter tire do you choose?

We have already covered the difference between winter tires and all-season tires. In summary, a winter tire will slow down more quickly and will perform a lot better when accelerating or climbing slopes compared to an all-season tire, even though both feature the pictogram of the mountain and snowflake which means that the tire is designed for winter. Furthermore, when the temperature drops below 7 degrees, the all-season tire loses its elasticity and its effectiveness which is not the case with the winter tire. So in most cases (unless one rarely drives in winter and only when the roads have been cleared), a proper winter tire is recommended.

How should you store your winter tires?

Properly storing your tires, both summer and winter, is very important. There are several tire storage tips to follow to ensure your tires are stored properly, but know that the most important considerations are to avoid exposing them to moisture or to sunlight, and to clean them before storing them while marking on which wheel they were installed. Also avoid keeping them stored in the same position for more than four weeks. If you want peace of mind, tire centers like Pneus Touchette and TireLand in the Montreal area can store your tires in ideal conditions at a low cost.

This article was written in collaboration with Pneus Touchette and TireLand. Come and have a chat with one of their specialists in one of the five locations in the greater Montreal area to discover the winter tire that best suits your needs and fits your budget. Find out more about their promotions on winter tires today, as well as their storage packages.

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