Extending the Lifespan of Tires During Winter
Winter is a dangerous season to be on the road in Canada. Global News stated that dozens of Canadians lose their lives on roads each week. Your car’s condition, particularly its wheels, is a major safety factor on the road during winter—or any other time of the year for that matter. Here are some tips to help you keep your tires in top condition and extend their lifespan at the same time.
Consider installing designated winter tires
If you’re planning to purchase a new set of wheels before the weather changes, consider getting winter tires. Winter tires are by far the safest option for cold-weather driving because they provide significantly superior traction, driver control and stopping power. At temperatures at or below 7 degrees Celsius, winter tires perform better than all other types of tires regardless of road conditions.
Be Tire Smart previously featured professional driving instructor Kevin Cronin, who explained that winter tires are the preferable option because they have a much better grip on the road, even compared to all-weather and all-season tires.
Tire and Rubber Association of Canada’s 2017 Canadian Consumer Winter Tire Study, conducted by Leger, found that 66 per cent of Canadian motorists ride on winter tires. But outside Quebec, where winter tires are the law, the percentage drops to 60 per cent. For the approximately 40 per cent of motorists found by the survey not to be using winter tires, the top reasons were the belief that all-season tires provide sufficient traction (51 per cent), reduced driving in winter (22 per cent) and cost (21 per cent).
Don’t forget the P.A.R.T
Pressure – Car owners should check their tire pressure monthly, and also should see the onset of winter as a cue to check tire pressure as well. This is because air contracts during cold weather, which means that tires need more air in order to inflate. Tires lose 1psi with 5 degree Celsius temperature drop, so the change is likely to be significant in Canada.
If your tires have not been properly inflated, they wear out much quicker, not to mention the fact that your steering, car handling, and gas mileage will also be affected. Do note, however, that every vehicle differs in terms of its ideal PSI, so make sure to comply with the recommendation.
Alignment – Proper alignment is an important part of tire maintenance. Poor alignment will cause your tires to wear unevenly and increase fuel consumption. Common practice is to have your alignment checked annually or every 25,000 km.
Rotation – Regular rotation will minimize wear and prolong the life of your tires and reduce the risk of a sudden failure. Front tires work harder than rear tires as they wear from steering and rolling and will wear out faster than rear tires. Rotate your tires according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation, found in the owner’s manual. Or, talk to your tire professional to find out how – and how often – the tires on your vehicle should be rotated. Common practice is to rotate tires every 10,000 km.
Tread – Treads are your tire’s toes; designed to help your vehicle start, stop and go around corners safely in any weather. These treads wear out over time, but drivers can prolong the life of their tires with proper care. Proper treads allow for normal handling of your vehicle and help prevent skidding and hydroplaning. It is important to check your tire treads regularly. By law, all tires are manufactured with a “wear bar” that tells you when the tire must be replaced.
About the Author: RedTek_RJ works at an automobile plant as a QA supervisor who also writes about the industry and draw car designs in her spare time. She aims to establish her own custom designing shop where she could apply her creative ideas.