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Winter tires: How to choose the right model

In partnership with TOYOTA - Winter Tire (EN)

Monday, October 19th 2020, 6:00 am - Experts have determined fairly clearly that a temperature of 7°C is a key reference point for rubber adhesion. When the temperature drops below this value, summer or all-season tires lose their effectiveness.

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Winter tires have been mandatory in Quebec since 2008. All registered vehicles must be equipped with winter tires by December 1 at the latest. But regardless of the government's decision to introduce legislation, this is mainly a question of safety and temperature! Rubber specially designed for the winter season is better suited to conditions, has a better grip and reduces braking distance.

Experts have determined fairly clearly that a temperature of 7°C is a key reference point for rubber adhesion. When the temperature drops below this value, summer or all-season tires lose their effectiveness. They do not adhere as well to the road surface, making the vehicle less safe. This is where winter tires come in as an essential part of safe driving. Remember that the tire is the only part of a vehicle that comes into contact with the road.

Making the right choice

When it comes to choosing a tire model, it's important to consider our daily driving activities. Advances in research and development have benefited the tire industry, enabling manufacturers to create products that are adapted to different types of driving. If you are mainly a city driver, snow is the natural element that may be most problematic. In this case, a tire with wider spacing between the grooves is a better choice. This type of tire will offer a better grip in the snow and will expel more snow from its grooves. For a driver who mostly uses the highway, a tire that offers better performance in icy conditions is a better choice. In this case, the rubber contains closely spaced grooves and adheres better to frozen surfaces.

According to Michel Gélinas, General Manager at Léveillé Toyota, the best approach is to identify a client’s needs. “We advise our customers according to their driving habits. A retiree who never has to drive in snow doesn’t need a high-end tire. Our consultants are trained to ask our customers the right questions to get an accurate picture.”

On the other hand, a driver who makes frequent trips and drives long distances in all conditions is better off investing a bit more in superior-quality tires. “It’s the quality of the rubber that makes all the difference," says Michel Gélinas. A well-designed tire will grip better on ice and snow. Rubber that is hard at room temperature will become like plastic at -20°C.”

Your Toyota dealer has all the necessary expertise to offer you sound advice when purchasing your winter tires.

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