The Post at Nolan Hill: Winter Tires 101

Well the first snow fall of the season has happened, and this is the time of year when many Calgarians book appointments at tire centers across the city to switch their vehicles tires to winter tires. There are still a lot of people out there that think that all season tires are fine to leave on your car all year long. Now this may be true for some area’s, but Calgary climate and weather has proven to be quite extreme.

With that in mind I did some research on All-season vs. Winter tires;

What’s is the difference between All-Season Vs. Winter Tires?

  • All-season tires continue to provide safe all-weather performance, but may not always be suitable for severe weather conditions. They do not offer the same degree of grip in the warm summer months as the summer tires, conversely they do not offer as much grip as winter tires when it gets cold.
  • All-season tires do not have cold weather rubber compounds, channeling tread patterns, the large number of tread sipes (tiny slits in the tread blocks) for wet surface control, and the open tread block pattern for deep snow traction that winter tires feature.
  • The lack of a formal “snow” designation on the tire has further fuelled the misconception that “all-season” tires also mean “winter” tires.

Winter season is upon us, but the roads are still clear of snow, are winter tires beneficial?

  • On dry pavement, the overall performance of an all-season tire steadily declines as the temperature gets colder. The crossover point is about 5 degrees Celsius. Colder than that, a winter tire outperforms an all-season tire.
  • Winter tire performance sharply improves as temperatures fall from 5 degrees to -30 degrees Celsius, while the all-season tire approaches the “not recommended” status.

Will winter tires help with stopping in slippery conditions?

  • A study conducted by the Quebec Ministry of Transport showed that a proper winter tire can improve braking up to 25 per cent over an all-season radial tire, and can improve collision avoidance by approximately 38 per cent.

Do I need to change all 4 tires to Winters tires, or would 2 work just as well?

  • Winter tires should be installed in matching sets of four. Because of their superior grip in winter conditions, mixing them with other tires on a vehicle will create a dangerous miss-match and likely result in a loss of control

All-in-all, with Calgary’s extreme weather, it would be beneficial for drivers out there on Calgary streets to look at getting a set of Winter tires. Lets make sure you make it back to your townhome at The Post in Nolan Hill safely this winter!


TaraLynn @ The Post in Nolan Hill