Winter Tires and Rims: Protecting You From Cold Canadian Weather


these are winter tires and rims in brampton, mississaugaCanadian winters are notoriously harsh, with temperatures dropping to below zero for several months, making driving conditions much trickier. Every precaution possible should be taken to ensure your own personal safety and the safety of others when out on the road. This means equipping your vehicle with a set of winter tires and rims. Unfortunately many people each year don’t do this, mainly due to the popular belief that all-season tires will cope with snow, ice and freezing temperatures, or that because their vehicle features an All Wheel Drive (AWD) system, an Anti-Lock Brake system (ABS) or a Traction Control System. However, none of these technologies will be able to prevent you from slipping on the road if you don’t have the right sort of tires fitted. After all, it is the tires that are in contact with the road and as the Greater Toronto Area’s leading tire and wheel specialists, we assure you that in cold conditions all season tires just won’t cut it.

Features of Winter Tires and Rims

  • Special Compound – The main reason why other types of tire can’t offer adequate performance during the winter period is because of the compound they are made from. As the temperature cools, the compound used in these tires hardens, meaning it is no longer able to “grip” the road. And when there is little to no grip, the wheel will just spin, which is obviously not conducive to safe driving. If you buy a set of winter tires and rims however, the compound is specially designed to remain soft in low temperatures, providing you with good traction. Many winter tires use natural materials as opposed to man-made substances as they possess properties that make them better suited to cooler environments.
  • Carefully Designed Tread Patterns – While you may still hear some people refer to winter tires as snow tires, there’s a number of differences between today’s models and the old style snow tires of years gone by. Previously they featured a tread pattern containing deep grooves and a series of lugs that were designed to cut into ice and snow in order to create the required traction. However, they had a number of weaknesses that today’s models have improved on and many now use a tread pattern that is arranged in blocks, featuring sipes (slits within these blocks) to create a greater surface area, and deeper grooves placed in between each block that are used to remove any surface moisture as the tire makes contact with the ground.

When Should You Switch to Winter Tires and Rims

There have been many tests and studies conducted on this subject and the temperature at which the performance of winter tires starts to exceed that of summer or all season tires is 7 degrees centigrade. So it’s really a case of keeping your eye on the temperature, but generally in the Greater Toronto Area you would be well advised to have winter tires fitted from November to March each year.

Misconceptions About Driving in Winter

There is no questioning the fact that road conditions deteriorate during the winter months and while people are aware of that fact, many accidents occur as a result of motorists not preparing their vehicles accordingly. Below are some of the most common misconceptions about tire types and winter driving.

  • All season tires will do the job – The name of this type of tire is misleading and the belief that an all season tire will do the same job as a winter tire is completely wrong. True, they can be used during all four seasons, but only in climates that don’t experience extended periods of cold weather (close to or below zero degrees) every year. They are definitely not the best choice for dealing with Canadian winters.
  • Two Winter Tires is All I Need – Every year we get a number of people who come to our store looking for just two winter tires. When asked why they only need two, they proceed to tell us that they have a rear wheel drive or a front wheel drive vehicle and only the two powered wheels require a winter tire as they are “doing all the work.” This is completely wrong and is just as dangerous as having no winter tires, if not more so, as it will create a traction imbalance. Even though the other two tires have more of a “guiding” role, they still need to be able to grip the road surface properly.

Why Some People Object to Buying Winter Tires

Some people choose not to purchase a set of winter tires and rims even when they are aware of the benefits they offer and the risks of using other types of tires in these conditions. The main reason they cite is the additional cost incurred, and more often than not they use a set of all season tires, year round. However, the decreased risk of having a road accident outweighs any upfront cost you have to bear, as repair costs after an accident will usually cost significantly more. You also have to take into account the subsequent rise in your insurance premium if you do have an accident.

How to Properly Store Your Winter Tires

Firstly, we highly recommend you buy both winter tires and rims, as opposed to just the tires. This makes it much easier and cheaper when it comes time to swap them over, as tires won’t need to be removed from the rims and the other set mounted. It’s just a straight swap; remove one set of tires and rims and replace them with your winter set. When the weather improves and your winter tires and rims are no longer required, it’s essential that you keep them in a cool, dry place. A garage or basement would be ideal and we usually recommend our clients get hold of some storage bags, which will further protect your tires from drying out and cracks forming. The retailer who supplies your tires should also be able to give you these bags and each tire should be stored in its own bag.

If you are looking for a new set of winter tires and rims in Brampton, Mississauga & would like some assistance in finding the best match for your vehicle, please get in contact with a member of our team today on 905-463-2038.