There are commercials saying to put on winter tires once it’s colder than 7C. But it hasn’t snowed nor is it frozen yet, so do you really need them yet? If I put them on now and then it warms up for a few days, is it unsafe?
It’s safe to put your winter tires on while Pumpkin Spice lattes are still in stores – but the longer they drive on warm roads, the faster they’ll wear out, says the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC).
Tires and tribulations
The rubber in all-season tires starts to harden – think hockey puck – when the temperature drops below 7C. The harder it gets, the less traction tires have. Winter tires are made with rubber that stays softer in the cold. They also have treads designed to grip ice and snow.
If your vehicle is wearing winter tires in the summer, or year-round, they are going to wear out a heck of a lot quicker because they are not manufactured to be used during the months other than the winter months.
In comparison tests between all-seasons and winter tires in normal temperatures, it took winter tires an average of 7 metres further to stop from 96.5 km/h on a dry track. On a wet track, it took winter tires 9.4 metres further to stop.
Whenever you install your winter tires, it’s best to put them on all four wheels. If you don’t, your front and back wheels won’t have the same traction and you could lose control.
Gorm Dagoe and