The clock is ticking: Get your winter tires installed today!
With the cold and snow at our doorstep, drivers must adapt their driving yet again. For everyone’s safety, winter tires are an absolute must. There’s no getting round it; winter tires are mandatory on all vehicles by December 15.
Exceptions to the winter tires requirement
If you purchase or lease a new vehicle, you have seven days to have winter tires installed. Same if you buy a used vehicle and have a temporary registration certificate: you have seven days after the date the certificate was issued to have your winter tires installed.
The winter tires requirement does not apply to the following:
- the spare tire of a vehicle
- motorcycles used as emergency vehicles
- passenger vehicles with dealer plates (X plates)
- motor homes
- passenger vehicles coming from outside of Quebec
- Winter tires exemption certificates are issued for the following reasons:
- when a vehicle is used to leave or return to Quebec
- when a vehicle is being moved to be sold
- when the owner wants to put a vehicle that had been stored back on the road
- when a leasing contract of 12 months of more is cancelled
It pays to be on time
Miss the deadline and you could wind up with a fine for Christmas. From December 15 to March 15, inclusively, motorists who have not equipped their vehicles with tires featuring the official pictogram as per the Highway Safety Code could face a fine of up to $300.
Winter tires are essential for the safety of all motorists. When temperatures drop below 7°C, summer tires harden and lose their grip, which increases your chances of skidding. With quality winter tires, you will have better grip on the roads because the rubber compound of these tires are designed to resist temperatures as low as -40°C thus reducing the braking distance by 25%. This lowers the risk of losing control and having an accident.
To be sure that your winter tires are fit to drive on, keep in mind these three points:
1— Tire pressure :
The cold affects your tire pressure. When temperatures dip below 6°C, tire pressure can go down by one pound. Lower pressure means less control. Tires that are not inflated properly lose their grip, which can be dangerous in the winter.
2— Manufacturing date :
Old tires are less effective. The four-digit number (DOT identification number) on the sidewall of your tires indicates the date on which the tire was made. The first two numbers correspond to the week and the last two numbers to the year. For example: 4015 means that the tire was made in the 40th week of 2015.
3— Tire tread :
The tread of your tires should be at a depth of at least 4.8 mm (6/32 in.), even though the law allows for a depth of 1.6 mm (2/32 in.). This means that the tire grooves will be deeper than the tire itself. To check yourself, use the coin test. Place a quarter in the tire grooves with the caribou facing downwards. If you can still see the caribou’s snout, the tire is too worn out to drive on.
To do a thorough check, ask your Point S mechanic for help.
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