You may be seeing a lot of ads for winter tire specials in Ottawa. If you are wondering if there are any benefits to investing in winter tires, here are some things to think about.
All season and summer tires become harder in temperatures that are 7 C and lower. These harder treads do not grip the road as they should and can cause problems with steering and braking. Tires that are rated as winter can withstand temperatures as low as -30C and still retain the flexibility necessary for good traction.
Winter Tire Benefits
Because winter tires have a tread pattern that is deeper, they are better able to hold onto the road even in ice and snow. This deeper tread also means they can cast off any snow build up and therefore retain more tread on the surface of the street. Braking distance can be improved by up to 30% according to tests.
Another winter woe is the chance of hydroplaning. As the snow and ice melts due to the friction of tires, there is a coating of water left behind. An unsuspecting driver can easily start to hydroplane or glide over the surface with standard tires. Winter tires use their special grooves to force the water off to the side, giving the vehicle a better grip.
If you think you are covered because you have a four-wheel or all-wheel drive system, you should realize that these do not help with braking or steering. The tires do all the work in those areas and vehicles with winter tires have proven better.
Buying Winter Tires
Some people shy away from winter tires because of the expense. Actually when you consider that you would probably be buying replacement summer tires anyway, you are actually not spending any significantly additional money. If you added the cost of the rims, there would be a slight increase. Also, when you consider the cost of an insurance deductible or medical expenses as a result of a winter accident, it makes perfect sense to buy winter tires.
At the end of the season, be sure the tires are thoroughly washed and may be stored upright or stacked. Using airtight bags will help retain the oil in the rubber to keep them supple for the next season. Never store them near a furnace, water heater, or other heat source.
Winter tires should be installed about the middle of November and can be safely removed any time from the middle of March to early April, depending on the forecast. If you drive around 1,000 miles a month, a tire rated for 40,000 miles will last you eight or nine years. Plus, you have the advantage of extending the life of your summer or all season tires as well.
Where to Buy Winter Tires in Ottawa
Winter tires are only manufactured for certain periods each year. So, it is best to shop for them in October and November to be sure they will be in stock when you need them. For the best deals in Ottawa, check out the special pricing available at Ultimate Automotive. We still have a good supply of quality winter tires and can help you make the best decision.