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Winter tires: history, tips and models to buy

Winter tires: history, tips and models to buy

Sorry to remind you, but winter is coming in full swing! Therefore, it is important to prepare well for your trips, but above all, you must put good winter tires on your car. On this occasion, here are some important points to consider when shopping for tires for your car.

When do you change your winter tires in Quebec?

December 15 is the deadline to put winter tires on your car It has been brought forward to December 1.

How far do you travel each winter?

The question may seem trivial, but it should be the first thing that comes to your mind. If you live in a city, have access to public transportation and have your car parked in your driveway all winter, it wouldn’t be wise to spend hundreds of dollars on high-performance tires!

What type of road do you use daily?

If you live in the country and work in the suburbs, highways and even small country roads are part of your daily life. So you should expect to encounter roads that have been partially cleared of snow. On the other hand, if you live in the city, you risk taking the majority of trails that are completely snow-free and rarely icy. This second criterion will definitely help you get rid of certain types of frames.

What’s your budget?

The question that kills! The budget for your tires should reflect your usage. Unlike other products, the prices of a car boot are usually a guarantee of its quality. In other words, the more you spend, the more you have. So, if you travel 30,000 kilometers a year and your car is your second office, it makes sense to invest in premium tires that are reliable for you. On the other hand, if you only use your car once a week to go shopping, starter tires will be more than enough!

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Do you like your current tires?

Like many consumer products, you’ve undoubtedly formed an opinion about your purchase. So it comes down to whether or not you are satisfied with your previous winter tires. If you love your old tires, why change models?

The best winter tires for 2023-2024

Studded tires or not?

Studded tires are permitted in Quebec between October 15 and May 1. They offer an undeniable advantage in terms of grip on the road surface. On ice and snow, they will give you a better ride than entry-level tires. However, if you live in Montreal and rarely go out, this purchase will cost you a fortune and will not give you any satisfaction after the purchase.

Why are winter tires mandatory?

On its website, Quebec Auto Insurance Company The SAAQ explains that winter tires are equipped with rubber designed to grip the road, even in cold weather.

“Once the temperature drops below 7°C or there is ice or snow on the road, the rubber of summer or all-season tires becomes hard and does not have as much grip,” the SAAQ explains.

For its part, winter-certified tire rubber is specially designed to meet resilience standards down to -40°C. This results in better grip on the road surface, whether on ice, snow or even asphalt.

Can I keep my winter tires in the summer?

While winter tires are mandatory during the cold season, there is no law preventing Quebec motorists from re-fitting summer tires in the spring.

However, it is highly recommended not to keep your winter tires all year round.

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First, because the rubber of this type of tire is not designed to operate at high temperatures and will wear out more quickly than regular summer tires.

Most importantly, the braking distance on asphalt surfaces in hot weather is longer with winter tires compared to summer tires.

In short, keeping your winter tires in the summer is not only financially illogical, but also dangerous.

What is the difference between winter tires and “four season” tires?

Here are four big differences between winter-certified tires and those that are not.

Rubber type:

Not all frames are created equal. The type of rubber used to make it plays a big role in this.

In general, the Four Season tire loses its effectiveness when the mercury temperature drops below 7°C.

As the weather gets colder, rubber loses its elasticity, affecting a vehicle’s handling and stopping distance.

However, a good winter tire is designed with rubber that maintains its flexibility, even in freezing temperatures.

This winter quality is also the reason why it is not recommended to equip your vehicle with winter tires during the summer.

When it’s hot, winter tire tread wears down more quickly and braking distance is extended.

Greater depth for winter tires:

To work better on snowy surfaces, winter tires are equipped with deeper tread, which helps reduce snow buildup and provide the best possible traction.

Obviously, science has its limits, and a winter tire, even with deeper tread, can’t work miracles. If you are driving on a snow-covered road, it is important to reduce your speed and not overestimate the work the tire can do!

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Tread patterns:

In addition to increased depth, the tread of winter-certified tires is sculpted so that snow and mud are expelled to the sides. This ensures that snow does not accumulate between the tire and the ground, which could lead to loss of vehicle control.


It’s good to get rid of excess snow, but winter tires must also break through ice and snow to allow the car to function properly.

This is made possible thanks to the notches on the tire tread surface. These more aggressive patterns distinguish winter tires from other tires that are not approved for the cold season.