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Spring tire change-over: Which tires are best suited for your needs?

Summer tires? All-seasons? Here’s what you need to know
Whether you’re switching from winter tires to all-season or summer tires, the service team at Canadian Tire in Salmon Arm can help get your vehicle ready for spring.

With the weather warming up, it’s time to start thinking about preparing your car for summer – including switching from your winter tires.

Before you do, there are a few things to consider. When is the best time? Do you need all-seasons or summer tires? How much will they cost?

“Most people do their spring tire change-over around April 1 – as long as the weather cooperates,” says Val Stephens, Service Manager at Canadian Tire in Salmon Arm. “Because a cold snap can happen overnight, some people wait until temperatures are consistently above 7°C . However, unless they’re planning a trip over the Coquihalla in the early spring, most people don’t wait that long.”

What’s the difference between winter and all-season tires?

Winter tires – marked with a snowflake – deliver superior braking and cornering in winter temperatures and conditions, including ice, snow, slush and even cold, dry asphalt.

“Winter tires are for real winter,” Stephens says. “They’re best for extreme conditions, when safety is a real issue. It’s best to keep in mind the changing weather, and be prepared with the right tires for the conditions you expect to be dealing with.”

All-season tires – marked with ‘M+S’ – offer a balance of capabilities, providing acceptable performance in wet and dry conditions, as well as traction in snow.

“Most tires today have the M+S, or mud and snow rating,” Stephens says. “Beyond that, all-season tires also run the gamut in terms of quality and pricing, from entry-level to higher-end models and styles.”

What’s the difference between all-season and summer tires?

Although all-season tires perform well in warm weather, they may offer less grip than summer tires, sacrificing some braking, steering, and cornering capabilities. This trade-off is necessary for all-season tires to be able to provide sufficient performance in light winter conditions and provide longer tread life.

Summer tires have less grooving and put more rubber in contact with the road, with tread compounds designed to remain more flexible. Shallower tread depths that allow for more stability when pushed closer to their limits, means shorter tread life.

“‘Summer’ is not a very common designation anymore,” Stephens says. “They’re made more for performance, and most vehicles aren’t even designed for them.

“That’s also where cost comes in. Because they last longer, all-seasons can be a more affordable option.”

Roll into spring with Canadian Tire Salmon Arm’s Big Spring Tire Sale, saving up to 25 per cent on new all-season or summer tires.

Follow Canadian Tire on Facebook and Instagram, then head to the store in The Mall at Piccadilly to get your vehicle ready for spring!