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Switching to Winter Tires — When Is The Right Time?

Winter tires are specifically designed to perform well in snow and slush, and of course we get plenty of those here in Mississauga, ON. But what’s the best time to switch to winter tires? Should you wait until the snow actually starts flying?

There are probably a number of different ways to answer this question, but let’s just make it simple and cut to the chase here. The time to switch to winter tires is when temperatures level out at about 40 degrees Fahrenheit, or 4 degrees Celsius.

Why, though?

–The tread depth of a winter tire is crucial to its performance in snow and slush. Switching to winter tires when it’s about 4 degrees C outside will help maximize their treadlife. The softer rubber formulation of winter tires is designed to stay flexible in extreme cold, for enhanced traction. The down side of that, of course, is that the tires will wear much more quickly when the temperatures are above 4 degrees C.

–Switching to winter tires a bit early will make sure that your vehicle’s ready when the snow does start flying, even if it’s just a light winter storm early in the season.

–Even if a winter storm isn’t in the forecast, using all-season or summer tires when the temperatures drop can be risky due to the fact that they will stiffen up and not deliver good traction. It’s better to be safe than sorry on this.

–Considering that there’s a pretty good chance that we’ll see ice and really extreme driving conditions in Mississauga, ON, you may want to consider tires that are pre-drilled for studs. Metal studs can give you a real advantage on slippery surfaces, and tires that are pre-drilled make it easy for a tire tech to just hammer the studs into place, then remove them later.

Got a good set of winter tires? Ready to have them installed? Or do you maybe need a set of Goodyear, Dunlop or Kelly winter tires before it gets bad outside? Make an appointment with us at The Tire Terminal in Mississauga, ON!