The winter season can be a favourite season for some, and 6+ months of despair for others. No matter what side of the fence you’re standing on, you’re still going to need winter tires. Of course we know that winter tires are meant to provide better traction in snow and ice, but have you ever thought about how?
The two main differences between summer and winter tires are the pattern of the tread and the compound of the rubber itself.
A summer tire has a rubber compound that is designed to perform at its best above 7 degrees Celsius. When the temperature falls below that threshold the rubber of the tire will start to firm up and will no longer provide the same amount of grip. This has a negative effect on both the handling characteristics of your vehicle, and the stopping distance. Even if the roads are clear of snow and ice, you still want to be using a dedicated winter tire.
A dedicated winter tire is made with a special rubber compound that stays soft and pliable in temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius. This will maintain your vehicle’s handling characteristics and stopping distance throughout the harsh winter months.
The other main difference between summer and winter tires we mentioned earlier is the tread pattern. A summer tire has a relatively gentle tread pattern that is optimized for grip on dry pavement, and has grooved channels to evacuate water when it rains.
A winter tire has grooves, however they are optimized to evacuate water, slush and snow. Winter tires also feature many small “sipes” in the tread, which are essentially small slits that “pinch” the road’s surface as they make contact, and help maintain grip when the road is covered with snow and ice and the friction between rubber and pavement is not enough to keep the tire planted.
With winter just around the corner, as of October 1st, winter tires are now required for travel on most BC Highways. Whether you have tires from last season to be installed or are in the market for a new set, the Motor Werke team has the resources and expertise to ensure your vehicle gets the rubber it deserves. We have mail in rebates available from all of our favourite tire manufacturers including Toyo, Michelin, Pirelli and Continental. Head over to our appointments page to get your tire situation sorted before the snow comes!