We spend a lot of time in our vehicles – whether we’re commuting to work or school, travelling, or driving for pleasure, it’s important to know that you’ve got the right wheels for your use and weather conditions. It’s best for them to be professionally installed; torque and wheel wear are all things to be considered when having tires put on, and your dealer has the knowledge required to get it right. You’ll also want to consider wheel size, width, tread pattern, quality and name brand when trying to decide what tire to go with.
Remember that no tire is good for the entire season; shifting temperatures and road conditions call for different treads and composites, and a tire worn year round will wear down fast. In order to get optimum performance out of your vehicle, and to maximize the safety of you and your passengers, no matter what vehicle you drive, you’ll want season specific tires.
As their name implies, these are the tires you should have installed for the fair weather seasons; they’re designed to withstand hot temperatures (and, in turn, hot paved roads) and wet conditions due to showers. Tread patterns on your summer tires are designed for water evacuation and to resist hydroplaning, so you have better control on wet roads.
Most people will think it’s the treads that are the main difference between summer and winter tires, and the treads do definitely differ, but it’s the type of rubber used in winter tires that provides the biggest performance difference. Winter tires are designed to withstand freezing temperatures, and the rubber compound needs to stay soft when temperatures drop. The treads need to both grip the road (or bits in snow and ice) and are built with grooves to siphon away water and keep more tire in contact with the road.
All Season Tires
Some will say that all season tires just won’t make the cut, but all season tires can be a good choice for some people. Their tread is deeper than that of a summer tire, and they have a good balance of features designed to hold up during cold or hot months. Think of the all season as a jack of all trades, master of none. They will do a good job, but aren’t designed to excel at any particular road condition the way that your winter or summer specific tires will. Overall, their durability can be long lived, and they’re good for a wide variety of vehicles and for the average driver.
Studded tires come equipped with small metal studs embedded in the tread to help your tire grip onto snow and ice on the road. The drawback is that they’re good for just these very limited conditions, but could damage roads (or your driveway) that aren’t covered during harsh winter months.
As of January 1st, 2016, all private insurance companies in Ontario were obligated to offer a discount to drivers that invest in a good set of winter tires (all 4 wheels must have them) for their vehicles. If you’ve invested in a set, check with your insurance company to ensure you’re getting the discounts you’re entitled to.
These aren’t the only things to think about when determining the best tires for your vehicle. Think first about the type of vehicle you own, as tires are built specifically with yours in mind. A truck, for example, requires a whole different set of parameters than a small sports car or family wagon. The way you drive is also impacted by the type of vehicle you own. The tires on a minivan hustling the kids back and forth to school and soccer practise won’t have the same wear as the sports car driven by a single trying to impress his or her friends by dropping the needle. Tires will likely last longer on a vehicle driven by a fixed income and financially savvy retiree than by a new driver in their first ever vehicle putting that little car through its paces.
Touring tires are great for comfort and are practical when it comes to an overall balance and dependability, while high-performance tires are better suited for a sports car or for those looking for better handling at higher speeds, especially when cornering. You might be looking for a light truck tire that helps to keep you out of sticky situations when off-roading, while if you drive an SUV an on-road tire with a high comfort level might be in your best interests.
The tread, width, tire quality as a whole, and rubber composition, of course, will all have an impact on how well your tire performs, and our professional team can help you to determine which will perform best for you and your family.