Ask the Tire Expert – Ryan Kasal
Many Canadians rely on “all season” tires as a simple option that seemingly requires less maintenance and provides the security of being able to drive in any condition. However, all season tires are not designed for all Canadian seasons. For that reason we recommend them only for Spring through Fall and always encourage winter tires to ensure the handling and stability required in the weather conditions that are so prevalent between November and March in Canada.
When it’s time to purchase a new set of tires, you might think that all season tires give you the best value for money. This just isn’t the case, as “all season” is really a misnomer unless you live in a climate that is warm all year. Unfortunately, the reality for the vast majority of Canadians is that we will need to use winter tires at some point during the colder months.
The term “all season tires” was first used in the late 1970s by tire manufacturers to describe tires that can perform adequately in all seasons. However, these tires will never perform better than tires designed for one season. With all season tires, manufacturers have traded off some wet weather grip in order to provide some mobility in the colder winter months. Winter tires will always be safer and offer better handling than all seasons in snowy, icy, cold and wet conditions.
It’s important to understand tire manufacturers make their own safety and performance assessments, and those assessments and criteria are far from uniform amongst companies. Be sure to ask us at your local Tirecraft which manufacturer and model will be best for your vehicle and local climate – don’t rely solely on online reviews. Our range of all season tires features options from Firestone, Hankook, Bridgestone, General Tire, Michelin, Toyo Tire, GT Radial, Goodyear, Yokohama, and more.
All Season Tires: Available Options
Since their introduction, all season tires have evolved into two classes to meet today’s car and driver needs: passenger and touring tires. Passenger tires offer a smooth ride and long mileage for every day use. Touring tires provide a nice quiet ride, improved handling capabilities and prove popular amongst luxury car owners and driving enthusiasts.
Both passenger and touring tires come in a variety of sizes and speed ratings in order to fit the wide range of makes and models of vehicles that are available today. Within the options for passenger and touring tires, not all are made equal. There are premium and budget friendly options to choose from, and of course, many differences between them during the three seasons when they perform best.
All Season Tires: Safety and Efficiency
Statistics show that only 51% of Canadians have winter tires, leaving 49% trying to make their way though a Canadian winter with all season tires. Having all season tires might seem convenient, but in many circumstances manufacturers have had to make compromises in terms of handling and traction, and a tire designed for use in the warm weather will not perform as safely in a cold climate and vice versa. For example, when the temperature dips below 7°C degrees, the compound used in an all season tire gets stiffer which results in longer braking distances even in wet conditions.
With tires, you get what you pay for and, in general, more budget-friendly options aren’t likely to wear and last as well as higher quality products. When you replace worn tires with new tires, you’ll clearly notice a huge improvement with braking, handling, stopping, and wet traction. Similarly, once a tire has been driven on and wears down, you’ll notice changes in how your vehicle handles and performs. This is the reason why having your tires rotated is fundamental to the longevity of your tires.
Safety can also be impacted by the sticker price differences between tires. Stopping distances can be cut down substantially with premium product compared economy products, making it very important when you are purchasing tires to ask how they’ll perform on your vehicle in 2, 3 or even 4 years. You’ll also find that many tires offer varying degrees of fuel economy and with gas prices continually soaring, purchasing a higher quality tire can save you money at the pumps.
If you’re not sure what to expect from the life of a tire or what your options are, come in to your local Tirecraft and to discuss your needs.
For more information please call 780-791-1212 or visit our website at www.tirecraft.com