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Choosing All Season or Winter Tires

Many drivers are often unsure if they should bite the bullet and purchase winter tires, or simply tough it out and drive with well-maintained all-season tires once the snow starts to fly. In Canada, and especially in Calgary, winters can become treacherous so it’s important to understand the differences and what is best for your vehicle and driving habits.

All-Season Tires

All-season tires are designed to perform well under a wide range of conditions including dry roads, wet roads, and hot temperatures, as well as providing durability over long distances. While these tires may be ideal for many road conditions, regular All-Season Tires lose elasticity when the temperature dips below 7 degrees Celsius or 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Many drivers believe that if they are not planning to drive long distances over the winter months, winter tires may not be worth the investment. However, safety should always be a priority. Winter storms are a reality, so it’s important to be prepared and protect not only yourself, but also the other drivers around you on the roads.

Winter Tires in Calgary

Winter tires are one of the best ways to stay safe while driving in Canadian winters. These tires are built using special compounds that allows them to retain elasticity in cold temperatures, improving your traction, stopping abilities, and handling whenever the outside temperature dips below 7 degrees Celsius or 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Technologically engineered tread designs prevent snow build-up, improve ice and snow traction, and provide better control for all vehicles including cars, SUVs, pick-up trucks, and light trucks. Without winter tires, drivers are more likely to fishtail on corners and spin out on snow and ice-covered roads, creating the potential for accidents.

Transport Canada recommends that snow tires are installed in sets of four. By installing four winter tires, you maintain the most balanced and controlled handling possible. This means you can accelerate, brake, and better steer your vehicle through wet, slushy, and snowy winter conditions.

It’s a common misconception that putting snow tires on just a vehicle’s drive tires, or the front tires in a front wheel drive, is almost as good as having four winter tires. With different tires at the front and rear end, your car won’t react in a unified way. Instead, your back tires may skid or fishtail while the front ones grip, increasing the chance of an accident.

In 2008, Quebec became the first province to legally require the use of winter tires on all wheels of passenger vehicles during the winter season from December 15th until March 15th. Many other provinces are realizing the importance of these tires in preventing serious injuries on major highways during the winter months. In order to stay alert and safe this winter, consider the installation of winter tires as part of your regular car maintenance in Calgary.

Choosing the Right Winter Tire for Your Vehicle

When purchasing winter tires, the first thing you’ll need before you start shopping is your vehicle’s tire size. This measurement is printed on the sidewall of the tire and on the automaker’s information label on the driver’s door edge or door frame.

Select a winter tire size based on the optional tire and wheel size for the base model of your vehicle, along with either a steel or alloy wheel. Maintaining proper air pressure in your tires is also important for handling, safety, traction and durability. For optimal handling and tire wear, it’s important to have your vehicle’s alignment checked (and adjusted if necessary) twice a year. Your seasonal switch from winter to all-season tires is an ideal time to do it.

Visit Speedy Apollo for Tire Repairs & Installations in Calgary

Speedy Apollo is your source for winter tires! We carry all brands and makes of tires, and handle tire repairs in Calgary, including balancing using a high-speed computerized digital system. Contact us today at one of our 4 locations including Bowness, Forest Lawn, Midnapore and Westbrook.

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