Knowing when to change over to winter tires depends on various factors including temperature and provincial regulations. We’ll help you get a grip on when to swap out your winter tires here in Vancouver BC and Lower Mainland. Your vehicle will benefit from having tires fitted to the wheels that are specifically intended for your driving habits and regional weather conditions.
Winter tires or chains are required on most routes in British Columbia from October 1 to April 30. For select highways not located through mountain passes and/or high snowfall areas, tire and chain requirements end March 31. These routes are marked with regulatory signs posted on highways throughout the province.
Driving In The Lower Mainland & Southeastern Vancouver Island
Due to a more temperate winter climate in the Lower Mainland and southeastern Vancouver Island, drivers are not required to use winter tires in many areas along the coast. See the South Coast Map for places where winter tires are needed, such as the Malahat. Remember, you are responsible for equipping your vehicle properly for the conditions you are driving in. Many drivers choose to use M+S tires year-round.
Remember: If you plan to travel outside the Lower Mainland and southeastern Vancouver Island, winter tires are required on most highways.
When Do You Take Winter Tires Off?
Driving on winter tires when the thermometer starts to head north can be destructive. Winter tires are designed to perform best on ice and snow, not when the asphalt is hot from the sun. It’s not only unsafe, but it will also cost you money because the winter tires will degrade faster. Therefore, it’s imperative to change back to your normal tires at the right time.
Unless you live in areas of BC (March 31), use the 7 degrees Celsius rule to know when to change back to standard tires in the spring. If the temperature heads above 7 degrees, make your appointment at NTW for a changeover or possibly do it yourself if possible.
When Do You Need Summer Tires?
During the warmer season, where temperatures climb above 7 °C, you should fit your wheels with summer tires. They provide high grip levels on wet and dry roads through their dedicated tread patterns and tread compounds.
Summer tires also provide high stability in curves and optimal mileage performance at summer temperatures. This means you can confidently drive your car on both dry and wet slippery roads during the warmer months. Remember, however, that summer tires are not suitable for winter conditions, so be sure to switch your tires when the season calls for it.
What Tools Do You Need To Change Winter Tires?
If you’re the DIY type and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, then changing over your winter tires can be a fun project. While it’s technically possible to use the tire changing tools that come with your car, it’s safer to use the proper gear:
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