Retailer details

SHOW PRICES

Please select your store to display available offers.

Why Winter Tires?

Why Winter Tires?

A new draft bill presented on December 8, 2017 at the National Assembly is seeking to advance the date when a vehicle owner is legally required to equip his vehicle with winter tires, i.e. from December 15 to December 1. The current law makes it mandatory for all vehicles licensed in Quebec to be equipped with winter tires from December 15 to March 15. But why is it important to switch over to winter tires? What are the differences between a summer tire and a winter tire?

Optimized Grip and Handling in Winter

 It is generally acknowledged that it is necessary to change over to a different type of tire in winter, but most people cannot really explain why this is best for their vehicle and how winter tires really go about improving safety.

Let’s begin with the simple fact that when the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius a summer tire loses traction, which translates in longer braking distances.    

Why does this happen? Summer tires become rigid at low temperatures since they are manufactured with a harder rubber compound and contain less natural rubber. There is a molecule in natural rubber that helps to keep tires supple in winter temperatures.

So it is the need to maintain this elasticity that explains why the percentage of natural rubber is greater in winter tires. This is important since a supple tire grips the road much better.

Even four season tires are not up to the task during Quebec wintry weather. Like summer tires, below 7 degrees Celsius, four season tires harden significantly and so lose traction. This is not the case with winter tires that offer greater handling, an enhanced adherence and shorter braking distances on new or packed snow, icy roads or on wet pavement. 

Adapting to Wintry Conditions

To summarize, winter tires are highly recommended quite simply because they are manufactured with a gum compound that is better adapted to wintry conditions and allows for a more effective warm up of the tire at lower temperatures. While summer tires soften in the heat to offer better grip, in winter the opposite occurs: the tire hardens! Winter tires however maintain their elasticity, even in extreme cold conditions.

You may have noticed that winter tires do not have the same tread design as summer tires and have a greater number of sipes on the tread surface. The sipes grip the snow and ice to optimize tire performance. What’s more, winter tire tread patterns provide a space in which snow is compacted, which maximizes traction. Surprisingly, packed snow in the tread actually improves a tire’s grip on a road surface.

Besides the above mentioned characteristics, winter tires have ten times more sipes (small grooves on the tread surface) to better evacuate water and slush and ensure a permanent contact with the road. So beyond offering an enhanced traction and superior handling when cornering, winter tires go a long way in reducing the risk of skidding or aquaplaning. In short, the sipes and the progressive tread pattern of winter tires work together to evacuate water and slush, while gripping the snow more effectively for a better traction on the road.

Improved Performance and Savings In the Long Run

If you thought winter tires were just a gimmick, think again.  Their performance has been scientifically measured. A car equipped with summer tires will have its braking distance multiplied two-fold on a wet road compared to the braking distance on dry pavement. And this braking distance is lengthened even more on a snow-covered road surface (braking distance multiplied by 4) and on ice (braking distance multiplied by 8). 

Not only will winter tires keep you safer, they will have you save money in the long run. Summer tires wear faster on the icy roads in winter while winter tires become too soft in summer and so also wear more rapidly. Not to mention that braking distances are lengthened when running on winter tires in summer. Even if keeping your winter tires in summer is not illegal, you are still putting your safety and the safety of others at risk. Not to mention the wear acceleration of your winter tires. By alternating between winter tires and summer tires, the life expectancy of your tires can reach 90,000 km, i.e. some six years of use.  

 

To learn more about which winter tire is best adapted to your vehicle, talk with your Point-S expert !

Find your new winter tires here. 

You may also like

Select the Right RV Tire
Tires

Select the Right RV Tire

  • Tires
  • Security

Summer is just around the corner and all festival-goers and travellers will soon be ready to set off adventure seeking with their RV. However, before hitting the road it is important to install the right tires on your recreational vehicle. With...

The New WinterStar ST Winter Tires for Road Safety
Tires

The New WinterStar ST Winter Tires for Road Safety

  • Winter tires
  • Safety
  • Tires

In winter sunny and rainy days can come in close succession, and it can snow any time. Because of such fast-changing winter weather conditions, trustworthy winter tires are a priority for safe driving. Better not to underestimate what Mother...

Winter Tires: A Closer Look at Innovations
Tires

Winter Tires: A Closer Look at Innovations

  • Winter tires
  • Tires

Long gone are the days of the horse-drawn carriage! The research and development teams of tire manufacturers just keep on coming up each year with more innovations. From intelligent studs to tires with a reduced ecological footprint, advances in...

What is my Vehicle's Recommended Tire Inflation Pressure?
Tires

What is my Vehicle's Recommended Tire Inflation Pressure?

  • Tires
  • Winter tires
  • Summer tires
  • Security

Of all the car maintenance checks there is little doubt that the easiest to perform and surely the least expensive involves the verification of tire inflation pressure. The air pressure in the tires support 95% of the car, so maintaining this...

Installation of Winter Tires Advanced to December 1st...2019
Tires

Installation of Winter Tires Advanced to December 1st...2019

  • Winter tires
  • Tires
  • Winter
  • Security

To ensure the safety of motorists during the winter, regulations stipulate that all vehicles registered in the province of Quebec must be equipped with winter tires. Driving with tires adapted to winter conditions is essential to improve road...

The 5 best winter tires in 2018
Tires

The 5 best winter tires in 2018

  • Winter
  • Winter tires
  • Security

In winter, it is essential to count on specific tires that improve your vehicle's stability, even on snowy or wet roads. The installation of winter tires is even required by Quebec legislation! Do you want to find the most suitable winter...