Even during winters where snow and ice aren’t as common, all-weather or summer tires are actually still dangerous to drive on. This is because of the type of rubber used in the making of those tires doesn’t offer nearly as much grip when the temperature drops and they turn hard. What’s too cold for summer tires? For most summer and all-weather tires that’s typically below 7ºC.
Below, we also detail even more reasons as to why you need winter tires in Kelowna and how putting them on for winter is not only essential but why you’re better off for it.
Why You Need Winter Tires in Kelowna
Kelowna may be a relatively temperate climate, but that doesn’t mean you should skip getting used winter tires, or new winter tires. Winter tires (marked with a snowflake on the sidewall) are specifically engineered to handle ice and snow in sub-zero temperatures. The rubber tread compound is designed to provide much-needed traction when braking and to give drivers a better grip and handling on snowy or icy roads.
In fact, compared to all-weather tires, winter tires can reduce braking distance by as much as 25%. The average braking distance to come to a full stop for all-weather tires in winter is 50.7m, whereas winter tires can stop in 39.1m. That’s roughly 11m of difference, which translates to about 2 cars end-to-end or just under the full length of a semi-truck with a single trailer. That’s a lot of braking distance you’re saving with winter tires.
When You Need Winter Tires For
In BC, winter tires are legally required to be mounted on your vehicle for most routes from Oct. 1 to April 30. That’s especially important to keep in mind if you’re travelling on the highways of BC as many of those roads have inconsistent weather. It may not be snowing near your home on Oct. 1, but the summits of the Coquihalla highway and 97C will almost certainly have snowy peaks by then.
What Type of Winter Tires Do You Need?
Once you’ve decided to make the search for “used winter tires near me” or are simply looking for new winter tires, you’ll want to buy the type that works best for your needs.
- If you spend a lot of time driving on highways, you’ll want to get winter tires that focus on traction in icy conditions.
- If you spend a lot of time driving in-city, you’ll want to get winter tires that focus on traction in snowy conditions or are marked with a snow/ice combination.
- If you spend a lot of time driving in rural areas you’ll want to get winter tires that are good for both snow and ice and are studded as well for extra traction.
Make Sure to Swap Back After Winter Is Over
Winter tires are meant for just that: winter. Once the legal requirement for winter tires is lifted in April, you’ll want to change back to summer or all-weather tires in accordance with the rising temperatures so you can continue to maintain traction on your summer drives as those tires have rubber designed to handle the summer heat.