Winter Tires 101

November 13th, 2020 by

Fact: Winter Tires Save Money and Lives

Despite the apparent advantages, many Canadian drivers still resist the idea of using winter tires. Many perceive them as an unnecessary expense. Some believe that winter tires have a higher rolling resistance coefficient and, as a consequence, offer less fuel economy. And there are those who do not intend to use winter tires for a variety of other reasons including a lack of storage room for another set of tires, a belief that their regular tires are satisfactory, and that their roads are well-maintained or their region does not receive much snow (*Ipsos Reid 2010).

Gambling your safety and the safety of not only your passengers but every other driver and passenger travelling on the same roads is a terrible winter driving strategy. Even if there is only one day of really bad weather and dangerous driving conditions, that one drive to work could be more than enough to bring tragedy into your life if you are not prepared.

Don’t gamble. Don’t take the risk. Be prepared.

As studies have shown, you are not actually saving money. You are simply accepting risks that you don’t need to accept. In its literature on fuel-efficient driving, the Natural Resources Canada publication Auto$mart advises that improved traction and reduced slippage from winter tire use not only improves safety but saves fuel (Natural Resources Canada).

Ultimately, deciding between a new or used vehicle comes down to what you need from your vehicle. If you need the latest features, a wide range of customization options, and have a flexible budget, a new vehicle will check all of your boxes. If you have simpler needs, a set budget, and aren’t picky about customization, a used vehicle would be an attractive option. No matter which option you choose, when you choose a Mercedes-Benz vehicle, you’re choosing a premium driving experience. Take a look at our new and used vehicle inventory today.

  • Myth: Regular tires provide sufficient traction in winter.
    Fact: Winter tires are superior to summer tires and all-season tires in terms of traction, braking performance and cornering in all winter conditions; all of the things you need to maintain control of your vehicle.

  • Myth: Winter tires are only useful in regions with lots of snow.
    Fact: Winter tires outperform other types of tires during all winter conditions, including dry surfaces, once temperatures drop below +7 degrees Celsius.

  • Myth: Vehicles with ABS, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), all-wheel (AWD) or four-wheel drive do not need winter tires.
    Fact: In winter driving conditions, such safety features like ABS, ESC, AWD or four-wheel drive are compromised without the use of winter tires. In the end, four spinning tires are no better than two spinning tires.

  • Myth: Two winter tires instead of a complete set of four winter tires is sufficiently safe.
    Fact: Mixing different types of tires can destabilize a vehicle, causing it to fishtail (swerve). When two tires get grip and two cannot, you’ll have your hands full – especially around corners.

As of January 2010, several European countries with winters comparable to Canada made winter tires mandatory; these countries include Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Romania, and Slovenia. In Austria, Latvia, Norway and Slovakia, winter tires are required if weather conditions are adverse.

Among Canadian jurisdictions, Quebec is the only jurisdiction that has mandatory winter tire legislation and in British Columbia, vehicles must be equipped with winter tires or the operator must carry chains to be permitted access on designated roads (principally in mountainous terrain).

Be prepared for the worst, so that you can enjoy the best elements of wintertime driving. For more help in choosing the best winter tire option for you and your vehicle, click the SCHEDULE SERVICE button below.

Source: Rick Ho with Driving Success for Lone Star Mercedes-Benz

Posted in Car Care