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Winter Tires

Are Winter Tires Really Worth It?

At The Tire Terminal in Mississauga, ON, we hear questions from drivers about winter tires, usually along the lines of “do I even need winter tires in the first place?”

Considering the tough winters that we see in Ontario, our answer is an unequivocal “yes.”

Close-up of a car's winter tires outside driving in the snow

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We thought it would be a good idea to present the pros and cons of winter tires by means of a quick Q and A, especially comparing the benefits of winter tires vs. all-season tires
  • Do I even need winter tires?

    If you’re in Texas, probably not. If you’re in Ontario, then the answer is yes. Anywhere you expect heavy snowfalls and long periods of temperatures below 4 degrees C, winter tires can give you a real advantage in traction, handling and overall safety.

  • What’s the big difference between all-season tires and winter tires?

    All-season tires are designed to be capable in a variety of road conditions, including dry pavement, wet pavement or light snow. When snow or slush gets a little deeper, though, all-season tires are out of their league. The rubber compound of all-season tires will harden in sub-freezing temperatures, leading to reduced grip between the road and the tires. Winter tires use a tread formulation that stays flexible in the cold, for improved traction and braking.

  • I have four-wheel drive. Why do I need winter tires?

    Your four-wheel drive vehicle’s power and torque are only going to be as good as your tires, and if the tires aren’t getting traction then that torque can’t get delivered to the road. Four wheels can spin uselessly just as easily as two…but winter tires all the way around can make a big difference in accelerating, turning and especially braking.

  • Can I get by with just two winter tires, or do I need to buy a whole set?

    Using only a pair of winter tires rather than a set of four is risky at best. It’ll mean two tires that have completely different traction properties, regardless of whether they’re in front or back. This can lead to a vehicle that has “squirrelly” and unpredictable handling and control. We strongly advise using a full set of four winter tires.

  • What’s the difference between the 3PMS (3 Peak Mountain Symbol) and the “M + S” designation stamped on the sidewall?

    This gets a little confusing. The M + S stamp means that an all-season tire meets the rubber industry’s minimum specifications for traction and performance in mud or snow. The 3 Peak Mountain Symbol means that the tire is a true Winter tire and has been approved for “severe snow service”. Bear in mind that these are minimum standards, and the performance of winter tires or all-season tires can vary greatly according to tread design, rubber compounds and other factors.

  • Is it OK to leave winter tires on year-round?

    No. That softer rubber formulation used in winter tires will wear out much more quickly once the temperatures warm up. Tire manufacturers recommend switching back to all-season tires (or the tires of your choice) when temperatures warm up past 7 degrees C.

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Come see us at The Tire Terminal and one of our knowledgeable service advisors will be glad to help you decide on the best set of winter tires for your vehicle in Mississauga, ON.

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Look what our Customers are Saying

Nicholas Tessier

I had a flat tire and also a ruined wheel. I texted them, got everything sorted out and was given an accurate and fair quote immediately after a few quick and painless questions (thank you Andrew!) the boys at the front are swell guys, and I paid a low low rate for parts and labour, it was not bad at all. Nothing extra was pushed on me either and they fixed my wheels in what felt like less than 20 minutes. Go with these guys if you got tire problems or whatever else they can do for you, they’re top notch. Highly recommended.

Mazin

Guys at the front desk are amazing. Huge store with lots of knowledgeable and professional staff. Highly recommend.

Ivan Tereshchenko

Best service you can get in GTA. Reasonable prices and great selections of rims and tires. I bought a set of winter tires. After a little while I found out that one of them has a manufacturing defect. Came on Saturday and got it replaced on Monday morning. No questions asked.