As if all the other aspects of purchasing new tires weren’t enough, there’s a relatively new option with which few Canadian drivers are familiar: All-Weather Tires. So when it comes to winter driving is some of the toughest conditions on Earth, drivers in Nova Scotia need to be informed as to how to make the right decision for their cold-weather driving needs.
Tires are a critical component to automotive safety. After all, the four patches on rubber on the ground, which are about the size of your hand, are all that connect your vehicle to the ground. All acceleration, braking, and steering forces can only be transmitted through the tires. This is why proper tire selection and maintenance are such critical elements in proper car care.
Here are the three major choices you have when it comes to selecting tires for winter travel:
All Season Tires
These are the traditional type of tires one most commonly thinks of. They tend to be narrower than tires typically fitted to today’s new cars. Most applications will either be for less expensive new cars and older cars. All Season Tires provide good ride comfort but don’t compare when it comes to winter traction to newer types.
Performance All-Season Tires
These tires are designed to provide sharp handling and high levels of grip while cornering. They typically carry a Speed Rating. While Speed Ratings were developed for Europe where cars are allowed by law to travel faster than in Canada, the speed rating has become an indication of the performance level of the tire for buyers here in this country. To best match the worn tires coming off your vehicle, purchase tire of the same speed rating. If you have any questions about this talk to your service advisor or review your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
Ultra-High Performance Tires
Ultra-High Performance Tires are fitted to upscale sedans or sporty SUVs. These tires are designed to provide superior handling and responsive steering in wet and dry conditions. They are a key ingredient in how your car feels when you drive it. Non-All Season or Summer Ultra High Performance Tires are not intended for cold weather and won’t provide the grip needed in snowy or icy conditions. All-season versions may compromise some dry and wet grip to gain some winter traction, but in Nova Scotia, it’s most likely better to switch to dedicated winter tires.
If you need to drive frequently on snow-covered or icy roads, then winter tires might make sense for you. They offer superior grip to go, stop, and corner. Be aware: winter tires will wear faster than all-season tires on dry roads because the tread is specifically designed to bite into snow and ice, and the rubber is formulated to stay pliable at freezing temperatures. So it’s best to change over your winter tire promptly when winter ends.
All Weather Tires
These tires carry a Mountain and Snowflake symbol on their sidewalls which indicates the tire meets required performance criteria in snow testing to be considered severe snow service-rated. Originally used as a designation for winter tires, the Mountain and Snowflake symbol is now featured on some all-season and all-terrain tires with snow performance that meets the Transport Canada testing criteria. All Weather Tires are an excellent compromise for drivers who don’t drive until the roads are cleared and don’t want to changeover their summer tires for winter tires each year.
It’s important to note that All Weather Tires cannot match the traction of dedicated winter tires in all winter weather conditions and should not be considered a replacement for where and when a dedicated winter tire is needed.
So whether it’s determining the best choice of tires for where and how you drive, or any other car maintenance or car service needs, turn to the factory-trained Ford experts and schedule service at Fairly & Stevens in Dartmouth.
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