It amazes many who live in warmer climes that those up north regularly as a matter of course as a vehicle owner have to get their “car ready for winter”. Many think its simply a matter of checking your antifreeze coolant levels in their radiators , making sure that that windshield washer antifreeze is good for 40 below zero , that their batteries hold a good charge ready to start their vehicles on the coldest January Northern Alberta night and lastly that their interior heaters work “just right”. Few think of their tires when it comes to the pre-winter seasonal tune ups at their local garage or auto dealership.
Wintertime driving conditions in many parts of the country call for special tires , sometimes chains to pull in snow and ice – as well as to stop in both a short distance safely. Without question, snow tires increase traction for both pulling and stopping on both ice and snow. There are two reasons at least for this – the deep groves and the much larger tire footprint areas. On ice and packed snow this larger “footprint” often means much more than any differences in tread design and designs. That being said winter-time tire studs, although once very popular, are now relatively uncommon among seasonal drivers, due to their destructive effects on roads and highways and are not legal in many precincts. While there are specialized tools available to yank out those tungsten metal tire studs , your set of winter seasonal tires may be at the end of their tread life anyways. You may just want to pick up a set of new replacement tires at a local Vancouver Canadian “Big Box Store” or OEM factory authorized auto dealer parts center. Yet another economical means is to source out a set of good low km used winter tires online. Yet if you are traveling out of state or province to a jurisdiction where the treads are both legal and essential for mountain driving safety you may want to keep two sets of winter tires on different sets of rims. An excellent resource for lower mainland BC , Surrey, Coquitlam & Maple Ridge auto owners of all models and brands for winter tire selection and deals can be found at this online website link.
One point to note and remember – winter tires , can be noisy on dry pavement – never mind the clicking sound emanating from studded tires at high traffic speeds. On the other side of the road so to speak – the nosier the tread design or designs the overall better performance on the roadway by your wintertime tires in the snow. Compromise to reduce noise also reduces tire and vehicle pulling power in loose snow and mud driving conditions. All in all it can be said by auto service and vehicle safety experts , that full-circle , welded-lug chains provide several times more pulling power than even the most highly rated , and expensive snow tires , but are of course a lot less convenient and even unsightly for automobile owners and motorists. If there is one lesson in life its plan early. Most people whether its for their income tax , or automotive repair or maintenance wait till the very last minute. Its a case of putting out fires or management by crisis.
You can bet when that on that very day of the cold snap , when the snowstorm / blizzard arrives that the wait for the CAA or AAA rescue tow truck will be hours and hours . On top of that just venture into the icy parking lot or service repair area of your local Canadian tire only to find that out the long waiting times involved for even an estimate for your vehicle. On top of that it does not take a genius to spot that with all the frost covered windows of frozen vehicle out there on the lot that you are really at the end of line when it comes to auto repair service. Spare yourself the inconvenience and delays that are unnecessary. Plan ahead , early for your winter tune up and to buy snow tires and winter time tyre chains long ahead of the first storm and the maddening rush.
Lastly what about tire chains? Not every driver knows how or wants to under their vehicle to put them on. If there is one simple and practical point it can be said about tire winter time chains is that when buying chains purchase them early – way ahead of the winter time driving seasons. Pleasant and safe driving.
In the United States and Canada, a “snowflake on a mountain” symbol means that the tire has exceeded the industry requirement from a reference (non-snow) tire. In the BC Canadian area factory approved winter snow tires can be purchased and installed via this website link