|Winter tires are necessary for many Canadian drivers since they offer increased safety in some of the most severe driving conditions drivers face. Because safe driving means being able to handle slush, ice and consistent sub-zero temperatures, you need a tire that can remain pliable in all these conditions.|
The latest generations of winter tires, maintain their elasticity and gripping power at -35 degrees Celsius and below. Traditional all-season tires tend to stiffen and lose gripping power at 7 degrees Celsius.
There is a direct correlation between the tires on the vehicle and the vehicle’s performance. Performance tires are generally wider with a bigger footprint and have few grooves, channels and sipes in order to maintain the most rubber contact with the road. Keep in mind they also require a certain degree of heat to maintain the grip of the rubber. It’s the exact opposite of what you need for winter driving.
Since modern winter tires have specially designed compounds for cold-weather motorists, customers should purchase or replace a complete set of four. According to Transport Canada “putting only two winter tires on a vehicle can change the vehicle’s handling so much as to be unsafe.”
Do you know that...
- Canada’s tire makers advise motorists to use winter tires on all wheel positions. Using winter tires on only the front or rear axle positions can create a serious traction imbalance that can lead to a loss of control, particularly when cornering.
Modern Winter Tire
- When shopping for winter tires, motorists should look for the three-peak mountain with a snowflake on the sidewall. Only tires stamped with this distinctive symbol meet or exceed specific snow traction requirements established by the tire industry.
- Every five-degree Celsius decrease in temperature results in a loss of about one psi in air pressure. A temperature drop of 15 degrees Celsius, for example, which can happen frequently in winter, typically results in 10 percent underinflation.
- A true winter tire can offer up to 50 percent better traction than an all-season tire. At 7 degrees Celsius, the rubber compounds in high-performance summer tires change, resulting in reduced contact with the road. Softer rubber compounds in winter tires remain flexible in cold conditions.
- Tires should be stored upright in a clean, indoor location, free from exposure to sunlight or strong artificial light, heat, ozone (electrical motors) and hydrocarbons.
Volvo Winter Tires Brochure
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