Choosing the right tire for your vehicle isn’t always about price or brand.
When the rubber hits the road, safety should always be your top priority. And the safest tire depends a lot on how and where you drive.
1. All-weather vs. all-season
If convenience is your goal, avoid the hassle of changing your tires every spring and fall with all-weather tires that’ll give you good traction year-round.
“Look for a Three-peak Mountain Snowflake all-weather tire for winter driving conditions,” says Allan, who explains the difference between all-weather and all-season tires. “Below seven degrees an all-season tire’s rubber hardens. The rubber compounds in winter and all-weather tires are designed to stay flexible at lower temperatures, which improves your traction.”
2. Tread design
Do you drive in thick snow and mud? A deep tread pattern will give you the extra traction you need, but keep in mind the treads will be noisy on pavement. If you’re focused on fuel-efficiency and only drive on well-cleared roads, Allan suggests choosing a less aggressive tread.
“The best tread design is one suits your needs. Do you want something smooth and quiet, or are you OK with an aggressive design that’s noisier?”
In the summer, an all-season tire will give you superior traction in the rain, and all-weather tires will perform better than soft winter tires.
3. To stud or not to stud
For ultimate traction, look for a regular winter tire that’s studdable.
“It’s the best of both worlds: deep grooves for enhanced grip on snow, studs for enhanced grip on ice,” Allan says.
Studs can be noisy, so Canadian Tire also offers studless ice radials that enhance performance on ice with softer rubber compounds.
4. What are you hauling?
The final thing Allan says you should consider before selecting a tire is load capacity.
“Are you hauling or towing anything? Make sure to select tires with the proper load capacity so you can carry more weight and withstand the load.”
If your tires’ load capacity is too low for the weight you’re driving, you risk improper wear, tire failure and blowouts.
Visit Allan Koehl at the Canadian Tire Auto Centre in Salmon Arm for help selecting your next tires. The Auto Centre is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday in the Mall at Piccadilly, 300–1151 10th Ave SW. Ask about their tire guarantee, and even seasonal tire storage.