The choice of winter tires

Discover how to choose our winter tires in 9 steps!

Driving in snow or cold weather is inevitable in Quebec. But it’s no longer necessary to stress the importance of getting winter tires—since 2008, all cars are required by law to have winter tires installed from December 1st to March 15.

Like every responsible driver, you’re probably wondering how to figure out which winter tires to choose. Here’s a tip: ignore your friends and family. Your brother-in-law may brag that he found some amazing winter tires, but that doesn’t mean his tires are right for your vehicle. We can’t say it enough—it’s absolutely vital to consider your vehicle type and driving habits when choosing your tires.

Here are 10 tips to help you strike the right balance between your needs and your budget when purchasing your next set of winter tires.

 

  1. 1. Know your tire size

First and foremost, make sure you know the size of your tires—it’s one of the first questions you’ll be asked in store. Your winter tires and your summer tires must be the same size.

To find out the size of your tires, just take a look at the sidewall. You’ll find a code similar to this one: P225/60 R17. Here’s how to read the tire code:

225 – This number corresponds to the width of the tread, or the part of the tire that touches the road, in millimetres.

60 – This number represents the ratio (as a percentage) between the top of the tire (sidewall height) and the width of the tread (section width).

17 – This number indicates the interior diameter of the tire, in inches.

To learn how to read the other information in the tire code, check out our article: How to Read a Tire Sidewall?

  1. 2. Know the types of roads you drive on

This is crucial when choosing winter tires. Do you drive mainly on city roads, side roads, or highways?

If you drive a lot, make sure you invest in high-quality tires. This is especially important if you drive a compact car, which is more likely to skid in poor conditions.

If you drive mainly in the city, tires with a good price-quality ratio will do the job.

  1. 3. Look at the tires

It might seem obvious, but take the time to go to the store. You can visually compare the quality of the different tires available, especially the grooves, flexibility, and lateral stiffness.

Keep in mind that large grooves provide better traction on winter surfaces, while helping to displace snow and slush.

You can also check the quality of Chinese-manufactured tires. They may be less expensive, but they wear out faster and offer poorer handling capabilities.

  1. 4. Ask the right questions

A good sales rep will know the right questions to ask to help you pick your winter tires. Beyond the routine use of your vehicle, they’ll ask about your annual mileage, where you live, and, most importantly, your budget.

A thorough sales rep will also ask if you want reinforced tires, for better control when turning, and will explain the different types of treads (with or without studs), as well as the pros and cons of each, especially in terms of noise levels.

  1. 5. Choose between snow tires and ice tires

Which are better, snow tires or ice tires? Generally speaking, ice tires are considered superior, since they offer excellent traction on snow as well as ice, while the opposite isn’t always the case.

Ice tires are recommended if you drive mostly on highways and dry surfaces. If you mainly drive downtown, opt instead for tires with better traction to help you get through snow banks.

  1. 6. Learn about handling and braking

Your winter tires have a major impact on handling and braking, which is one of the main reasons why winter tires are mandatory. When the temperature drops below 7°C, all-season tires lose too much traction and flexibility for safe driving.

With better tires, your vehicle will brake more effectively and reliably and will also handle better when turning.

  1. 7. Insist on several offers

Many sales reps or retailers are happy to offer you the best deal of the day, but don’t settle for just one suggestion—especially since it’s often related to a mail-in rebate (which can sometimes come with surprises) or some sort of promotion, and is not necessarily the best tire for your vehicle.

Insist on getting several suggestions. This way, you’ll be able to choose your winter tires from among several models, depending on price, features, and your specific needs.

  1. 8. Avoid mixing and matching your tires

Having different brands of tires on a vehicle is never a good idea. This can affect your driving, lead to poor handling, and cause premature wear on some parts. Avoid mixing tires as much as possible.

If you drive a 4x4, this is even more important. Make sure you install four identical tires of the same brand or you’ll be adding extra stress to your vehicle’s differential.

  1. 9. Stay within budget

Your budget is an important factor in your choice of tires. Take the time to compare prices. Don’t be afraid to visit several stores. Searching online can also help you make your decision.

Keep an eye out for deals and promotions. Find out about financing plans that may be available.

 

Your winter tires should meet your needs and shouldn’t be based on the recommendations of your friends and family. Take the time to think about your driving habits and relay this information to the sales reps you meet. They’ll be able to guide you through the purchasing process.

Keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a perfect tire! Even the most expensive and specialized tires have their strengths and weaknesses. Purchasing winter tires always includes an element of compromise.

Last but not least, don’t wait too long to pick your winter tires and get them installed. After November 1, demand usually increases—and the price along with it.

 

Winter tires

 

You may also like

New – Pirelli Ice Zero Asimmetrico
Tires

New – Pirelli Ice Zero Asimmetrico

  • Tires
  • Winter tires

Whether you like it or not, winter is fast approaching, and like many motorists, you may find yourself in need of new winter tires. If you’re looking for a high-performance winter tire that can handle extreme weather conditions, Pirelli’s...

WHAT ARE THE BEST SUV AND LIGHT TRUCK WINTER TIRES IN 2022 ?
Tires

WHAT ARE THE BEST SUV AND LIGHT TRUCK WINTER TIRES IN 2022 ?

  • Tires
  • Top 5
  • Winter tires

MICHELIN | PILOT ALPIN 5 SUV The Pilot Alpin 5 SUV tire offers excellent grip when braking, no matter the road conditions (snowy, wet, or dry). It features a new directional tread pattern with a central groove for even better aquaplaning prevention....

How to know if a Tire is still in good Condition?
Tires

How to know if a Tire is still in good Condition?

  • Safety
  • Summer tires
  • Tires
  • Winter tires

When the time comes to change our tires, we often wonder if they will hold until the next season or if they are already too worn-out. All you need is one pothole or rub against the curb to damage a tire that is too old or worn-out. It is safer to...

Best Tires for Mazda 3, Mazda CX-3 and Mazda CX-5
Tires

Best Tires for Mazda 3, Mazda CX-3 and Mazda CX-5

  • Summer tires
  • Top 5

Are you thinking of purchasing adapted tires for your Mazda 3, Mazda CX-3, or Mazda CX-5? You will find several references available for your vehicle at your local Centre Auto Point S. Our experts will be happy to help you find tires that fit your...

What are The Best Summer Tires for 2019?
Tires

What are The Best Summer Tires for 2019?

  • Summer tires
  • Top 5

It’s always a good idea to get a second opinion before purchasing your summer tires, especially because your tires will ensure your security and the security of your family everyday on the road. At Point S, we provide you with a list of our...

What are the best SUV summer tires in 2020 ?
Tires

What are the best SUV summer tires in 2020 ?

  • Best summer tires

The return of spring and summer is synonymous with long car rides, alone or as a family. It is also the time to change your tires! With this said, when it comes time to shop for summer tires for your SUV, it isn’t always easy to make the right...

Forgot your password?

Enter your email address and we'll send you instructions to change your password.

Create an account

Simple and secure, your account allows you to save your settings and view your orders.

Log in

We have chosen this retailer for you.

The retailer below will take care of scheduling your appointment, receiving the products, and installing them.

Your retailer

The retailer below will take care of scheduling your appointment, receiving the products, and installing them.



The use of cookies is necessary so that certain functionalities can be used correctly. Please make sure to activate them in order to take full advantage of the site experience.

equal payments

Including installation and balancing in stores, environmental fees and applicable taxes for selected products.

See more about financing plan

equal payments

Including, if applicable on selected products, installation and balancing in stores, environmental fees and taxes.

See more about financing plan

Traction - dry road

Dry-road traction is a tire's ability to brake effectively and respond well to the steering wheel on dry roads.

Traction - wet road

Wet traction is a tire's resistance to hydroplaning and its ability to provide safe driving in wet conditions.

Traction - snowy road

Snow-covered road traction is a tire's ability to operate on partially or completely snow-covered pavement.

Traction - icy road

Ice traction is a tire's ability to operate on partially or completely ice-covered pavement.

Durability

Durability refers to how many kilometres a tire can go before it stops performing.

Comfort/noise

Comfort refers to the ride quality of a tire and the noise it emits on the road.