The Truth About Winter Tires

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We all have that one friend who tries to convince us that we don’t need winter tires. And some of his arguments are starting to make sense.

So, let’s hear what he has to say.

“I drive with all-season tires and they are fine in the winter. It’s a cheaper alternative!”

I’ve heard that one before. Now let me tell you why it’s not smart.

All-season tires are a compromise between a great summer tire and a great winter tire. They are OK. And will never be better.

Yes, it’s true – all seasons are suitable for a variety of weather conditions. And their thread design and material will give you extended mileage in the hot summer.

Yes, it’s true – they are a cheaper alternative.

But in the winter, the tires become noticeably less effective. They get rigid in lower temperatures. They can start to lose their grip at 7° Celsius. This means you will have less traction. Your handling and braking will suffer.

On the other hand, winter tires will give you superior snow and ice performance.


And do you really want to sacrifice your safety, and the safety of others, just to save a few bucks?

“You only need to install 2 winter tires. It’s safe and it’s cheaper!”


Driving your car with two winter tires and two all-season tires can be dangerous.

If you only put two winter tires on the front of your front-wheel-drive car you are sacrificing much needed grip in the back. This means you are very likely to spin out when braking or cornering.

If you only put two winter tires on the back of your rear-wheel-drive car you are sacrificing your steering ability. The front wheels won’t grip as well and may fail to respond when you turn the wheel.


So save yourself the risk. Install four winter tires.

“I don’t need winter tires because my car has traction control.”

Your traction control system will limit your car’s acceleration to keep you from overpowering your tires.

But it won’t improve your tires’ traction.

The only way to improve traction is by adding grip. You can add grip by installing winter tires.

“I don’t need winter tires because my car has ABS brakes.”

ABS brakes will limit your car’s braking to prevent you from locking up your tires.

But again, the brakes won’t improve your tires’ traction.

Installing winter tires will improve your tires’ grip. This will give you more traction.


“I don’t need winter tires, because I don't drive when the weather is really bad.”

Predicting winter storms is hard work. And weather forecasts are often wrong.

Can you really be sure where you will be when a storm hits.. maybe at work.. or at home.. or visiting friends?

It’s important to have mobility and be ready to deal with an emergency.

And having freedom of movement in the winter is a good enough reason to install winter tires.

“I don’t need winter tires because I’m a great driver”

driving winter

You say you’re a great driver. And maybe it’s true! But what about the other drivers sharing the road with you?

Installing winter tires will improve your control on the road. You'll be prepared to deal with the unexpected.

Installing winter tires will give you piece of mind, and allow you to be an even better driver.

“I don’t want to buy winter tires. They're too expensive.”

They are expensive. But they can save you money in the long run!

Using winter tires can lower your insurance rates. Using them will actually extend the life of your summer tires. And they will protect your OEM or aftermarket alloy wheels from that winter salt and grime!

I know that it’s tempting to save a few bucks now. But you should really cut costs somewhere else.

Especially if you live and drive in Canada.

So next time you see that friend of ours, do him a favor. Tell him why he needs a set of winter tires.

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1 Response to The Truth About Winter Tires

  1. Peter Ungar says:

    Good article. What about All Weather tires with the snowflake and mountain insignia?

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