Choose the right tires for winter

Just as you need a good pair of shoes, your car needs its right tires. 

Lucky for you if you are living in the a tropical area. But if you are living in a place where the road will be covered by snow annually, it is time to consider buying winter tires.

There are so many factors to consider before purchasing these big rubber donuts designed for winter. There we have listed out six most important things to guide your selection.

1. The vehicle type

Passenger cars, crossovers, minivans, sports cars and trucks are the main vehicles serviced by tire manufacturers. Each vehicle category requires a specific tire type with the correct speed rating and nominal load. It is very important to take these data and characteristics into account.

Most of the time, your retailer will only recommend the right tire for your vehicle. Vital information, including dimension, is obviously on the sidewall of the tire, but again, you shouldn't normally have to worry about these details.

2. Road conditions

There are 2 types of road conditions, snow and ice, and their variations. Most city dwellers driving on snow-covered streets and highways do not need high-performance snow tires. In fact, ice tires, which do very well on snow, are a better choice, especially at icy intersections with mandatory stops.

People living in rural areas should instead consider purchasing snow tires and choose a set of studded tires.

3. Driving habits

They concern your usual way of driving as well as your way of driving in winter. Many of us are treading water, sorry, criss-crossing high-speed highways, so it might be better to consider purchasing a high-performance winter tire that will remain stable at high speed. This advice is valid for both cars and many crossover vehicles.

When snow and slush accumulate, tires with deep pavers are better suited since they can adequately evacuate everything that interferes between the tire and the road. These same tires can also affect steering response and overall stability at high speeds.

4. Winter tires and season tires

Crosses between winter tires and 4 season tires are more and more frequent. So much so that the sacrosanct logo embellished with snowflakes and mountains is now on tires that would not have deserved it not so long ago.

The considerable evolution of compounds in recent years has made it possible to obtain a tire capable of adapting to different road conditions. This tire is basically an alternative. Ideal for most Canadians is to have one set of tires for warmer periods and one that is suitable when the mercury is falling.

5. The tread

The tread depth influences the performance of a tire in different ways. The first concerns the longevity or the period during which the tire will perform its "work" correctly under the conditions for which it was designed.

The tread depth of most car tires designed for winter will be between 11/32 and 13/32. The deeper they are, the more the tire will be able to provide clearance between the contact patch and the road. Some manufacturers still managed to create narrower pavers, thanks to the advanced and innovative design of the tread pattern.

6. Finally, the price

It's untrue to say that the high number the price tag denotes, the better performance you will get from the tires. Yet at the end of the day, you always get what you pay for. 

Luckily, with more tire manufacturers flooding into the industry, the price of tires are expected to drop.