Knowing when to put on winter tires can be rough, because the transition between seasons is unpredictable and varied by year. You can’t expect temperatures to drop and snow to fall on the same day as the year before, and even taking an average temperature or precipitation over several years doesn’t equate to an exact science.
So how can anyone decide when to put on winter tires? It’s a much simpler question when you choose the right type of tire.
Investing in the Right Tires
Winter tires come in many styles and with varying degrees of purpose. There are winter tires with deep treads for snowy roads and winter tires with studs for gripping black ice that may form. And most winter tires regardless of style are constructed from a rubber that holds up under intense cold and severe temperature changes.
However, even the most hearty winter tire will wear over time. Since many winter tire brands and styles are designed specifically for cold, snow, and ice, driving under warmer and drier conditions can wear the tires more quickly. In addition, they can create more road friction or weight, causing your car to run heavier and more slowly. And they might even eat up the roads you drive on in your community.
On the other hand, all-season tires have the reputation of wearing more moderately and being able to traverse a variety of conditions. Utilizing all-weather or all-season tires can put the question of when to put on winter tires to rest. Whether it’s raining and slick or warm and dry, your car can drive safely.
When to Put on Winter Tires for More Extreme Climates
In many provinces, the winter weather becomes so extreme that all-weather or all-season tires simply don’t cut it. You can transition to all-weather tires at a similar time every year - perhaps the end of September. These tires will take care of you even after the temperature begins to drop and the first flurries fall.
While everyone runs to the shop after that first sign of snow, you can wait a week or two and continue driving on your all-season tires. The rubber in all-season tires will start to harden at around 7C. The hard rubber doesn’t grip the road as well, compromising safety. Therefore, you should make the choice to put on winter tires when you see that low temperature.
When to Put on Winter Tires by Province
Only two provinces require winter tires. Quebec requires that all motor vehicles use winter tires between December 15 and March 15, while British Columbia requires it between October 1st and April 30th. Use these dates as a rule to stay safe!
If you live in another province, ask your local tire shop what they recommend and when to put on winter tires.
No matter where you live, be sure that you have car insurance protection in case of an accident! Call Higgins Insurance at 1-866-273-2911 to get a quote or add a vehicle to your coverage.