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The different types of tires
Does it really matter?
Types of Tires
With so many different types of tires on the market, it can be challenging to decide which ones are best for you. Summer tires are pretty self-explanatory, but how do you know if you’re an all-season, all-weather, or winter tire person? It really comes down to where you live and what your weather is like, but yes, it does matter. Follow along to learn what types of tires are best for you.
Summer tires are designed for optimal use when the average daily temperature is about 7°C or higher. They use a sticky tread compound to increase grip on both wet and dry pavement, as well as shallower, straighter grooves to increase stability during cornering, braking, and acceleration. They should not be used in colder temperatures, as the compound becomes rigid and all traction is lost.
All-season tires, on the other hand, have deeper grooves and slightly more tread. They are designed for climates with variable precipitation such as light snow or sleet, but still harden around 7°C, meaning they are not good for winter driving. They really should be called three-season tires, used in Spring, Summer, and Autumn.
All-weather tires are much more suitable for winter driving than all-seasons. They are made with a special compound that remains flexible below 7°C, resulting in far better traction and stability on both dry pavement and fresh snow. The tread is more aggressive than all-seasons for more reliable grip and and cornering in the winter.
Winter tires are a must for those driving through harsh winter conditions, including temperatures below 7°C, heavy snow, ice, and wet asphalt. They have increased siping so that water and ice is pushed out of the tread while driving, keeping your tires from getting caked up. The compound is also designed to remain flexible below 7°C, and there are biting edges to dig into snow and ice, increasing traction and stability.
Having the appropriate tires on your vehicle is an absolute must for both your safety and the drivers around you. In Canada, winter conditions are often unpredictable whether you’re driving in the city or on the highway: winter tires are generally a very good idea. This article should help you narrow down the type of tire that is best for you, and your local tire shop will be able to steer you in the right direction from there. Drive safe!