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Posted on November 18, 2021
Among all the technological advances achieved in the car market over recent years, it's perhaps the safety area that's seen the most innovation. Features from automatic emergency braking to lane keep assist have made today's vehicles the safest ever to drive on Canadian roads.
But the most fundamental aspect of automotive safety is one that usually attracts much less attention. Any car relies on high-quality tires to provide grip, and without the right tires, even the most advanced electronic traction control systems won't be worthwhile.
But a tire isn't just a tire. In the colder months, it's vital to switch to a tire design that can handle the lower temperatures without losing grip, whether that's specialist winter tires or versatile all-season ones. Here's what to think about when deciding which kind of tire to fit when the mercury begins to fall.
As you'd guess from the name, all-season tires are designed to be used right through from the start of spring to the end of winter and are the only set of tires needed in some locations. If you live in an area with a moderate climate, these tires can make the ideal choice. They might not provide quite as much grip as regular tires in the height of summer, or as winter ones in deep-freeze conditions, but they offer reliable traction and performance across a wide range of temperatures.
However, if your area normally sees sub-zero temperatures, heavy snowfalls, and lasting ice, then all-season tires aren't likely to perform well enough at the coldest times of the year. Winter tires are specifically designed for temperatures below freezing point, but also perform well up to around 7°C. They differ from regular and all-season tires in three main ways.
Stiffer Compound:- At temperatures above zero, winter tires will be stiffer than regular or all-season ones and provide slightly less effective grip. However, they stay at much the same stiffness even down to tens of degrees below zero, when other tire types will become too rigid to properly grip a road surface, never mind slippery snow or ice.
Deeper Treads:- Winter tires also have deeper treads to cope with snow without losing traction. What's more, the treads are pointed in a different direction to more effectively divert snow and slush from under the wheels.
Spikes and Slits:- Lastly, winter tires are covered with countless tiny spikes and slits to increase the rubber's surface area, greatly improving traction over packed ice and slippery slush.
These three features make winter tires an essential choice for climates with frequent sub-zero temperatures, but they also make the tires perform poorly when the thermometer rises above 10°C or so. Once the thaw arrives, you'll need to switch to regular tires and keep your winter ones in storage until late fall.
Get your car up to winter safety grade with winter tires or all-season tires from the Eastside Kia tire shop. We stock all grades of tire for all Kia models and more, with deals you won't beat in the Calgary area.
Categories: Parts, Tires