Products for Car / Van / 4x4

Why do I need winter tires?

Winter tires are a solid investment for winter weather

Fast facts: What to know about winter tires

  • If the temperature falls below 7 degrees where you live each winter, buy winter tires. In some provinces, they are required by law.
  • Look for the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol on the sidewall, it means the tire complies with international regulations.
  • Maximize the handling and traction of the vehicle by fitting winter tires to all four wheel positions of the car.
  • Monitor the air pressure according to your vehicle handbook to maintain optimal performance and safety.

So, you're ready to buy some winter tires for your car. Congratulations! If you live in a region where the temperature falls below 7 degrees each season, it is a very sensible decision to ensure safety for yourself and other users on the road. Winter tires have unique attributes which mitigate the risks of snow, ice, and falling temperatures on the road, providing motorists with greater control behind the wheel.

Now that you've decided to move forward, let's conduct a bit of research. When investing in a set of winter tires, for example, you must put them on all four-wheel positions of your car. It will maximize the handling of the vehicle and mitigate the risk of losing traction on either the rear or front axle when driving on slippery roads. Do not mix summer tires and winter tires on passenger cars.

Here are some more useful things to consider before you choose a new set of winter tires.

Why winter tires are more effective when it gets colder

The defining characteristics of a good winter tire are the tread pattern, the sipes, and the tire compound. When the weather starts to get cold, and there's ice on the roads, these tires are ready to tackle the elements.
Winter tires have a dedicated tread pattern to provide superior traction on snowy, wet, and icy roads. The rotation of the wheel will push the snow into the broader grooves and generate additional traction. The tread also features sipes – tiny little slots – that provide additional traction by enabling the tread blocks to flex and dig deeper into the snow or ice.
Finally, the tire compound has a higher percentage of natural rubber, so it remains soft and flexible in cold temperatures. If the tire compound isn't designed to perform in winter conditions – as is the case in a summer tire – it will go hard and brittle. That, in turn, leads to a substantial decline in traction and grip.

3-Peak Mountain Snowflake Symbol

Winter tire sidewall markings to look out for.

The 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake means that a tire is certifed for winter usage.

Learn more

Winter tire size and pressure

When buying a new set of winter tires for your vehicle, be sure to check the size specifications as provided by the manufacturer. These details can be found in the owner's handbook, the door frame on the driver's side, or under the fuel cap. To keep things simpler, using the same tire size as the original equipment (OE) tires is the best course of action.

For winter tires, the recommended tire pressure in PSI is the same as for summer tires. Again, you can consult the owner's handbook, the driver's side door frame, or under the fuel cap for this information. You cannot avoid fluctuations in air pressure; for every drop in 10 degrees in air temperature, the tires will drop one PSI.

The important thing is to monitor your tire pressure every two to four weeks and top it up as necessary. Driving with under-inflated tires impacts fuel economy and treadwear, and could even lead to a puncture.

Summer vs. winter vs. all-season tires


When do you need summer tires, winter tires or all season tires?

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Winter tires in summer?

Winter tires in summer

Why you shouldn't drive on winter tires in summer.

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Summer tires in winter?

Using summer tires in winter conditions might be dangerous and risks damaging your tires.

Don’t use summer tires in winter.

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