When Should I Switch To Winter Tires In Ontario?

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In Ontario, seasons change very frequently; since they are so frequent, and the weather can fluctuate so quickly, it’s good to know when the best time to get your winter tires installed.

According to TireCraft, the best time to generally change to winter tires in Ontario is by firstly looking at the holidays that indicate weather changing. 

Take Easter for example: Around Easter is the Spring, which is when the weather would begin to get warm. This is a perfect indicator of the days becoming longer, rainy weather thriving, but eventually after the holiday passes, Summer follows suit, and that is when drivers bring out their fresh set of Summer tires. 

Now looking at the arrival of winter, think about Thanksgiving.

In Ontario, Thanksgiving holiday usually begins around October. This holiday is a great indicator for the fall weather coming to an end and the weather going below 10 degrees Celsius. 

Source CanadaDrives mentions: “the average point when temperatures hit 7 degrees in Ontario varies because it’s such a large province, but usually, it’s from late October to mid-November.” 

Image by Honda West

As the fall weather starts to get more cold, think about what your tires are having to endure. Heavy traction. Which is why it is so crucial to change your tires early.

What other things to look out for before changing your summer tires to winter tires?

Another indicator for when to change your tires to winter tires is the arrival of heavy rain in the fall. Although rain fall seems like just a slight change in weather, when the temperature begins to go down, rain can become hail faster than you think. Before you know it, if you wait too long the snow will be the next thing to fall instead of just rain. Getting your tires changed earlier in the season can not only prepare you for the winter, but can give you better traction as the weather starts to change. You would not want to wear out your precious tires, especially if they are summer tires in dire need of a change. 

Mentioned again by TireCraft, many people wait until the first snow to get their winter tires installed, which is not the most optimal time. 

Image: Viking Motors

Summer tires or all season tires can wear out as quickly as 6 months, and to preserve your cash, and your tires, you want to keep a keen eye on the weather. 

Do you notice that the days are getting shorter? Because that is another great indicator that it may be time to change your tires. Summer tires can easily begin to stiffen when having to fight against the heavy traction cold weather can cause. Greater tire flexibility is granted when using winter tires. Not only will it provide better grip on the road surface, but it can help you gain better control of your vehicle when the cold weather approaches.This is a key reason drivers should swap out their all season tires for winter tires during colder months.

But what if I have all season tires? Why do I need winter tires? 

Image: Obeki

With all weather information put aside, some drivers may be wondering: What if I have all season tires? Why would I need to change to just winter tires specifically?

Well it brings up some safety matters. 

Firstly, the name of all season tires has recently been changed to 3-season tires, to emphasize that they are good for the spring, summer and fall. During these seasons, the roads are known to be less covered with ice, snow, and heavy hail. Although Spring does bring rain, the traction needed in the winter can only be certified with a good set of winter tires. 

CanadaDrives mentions on their site: 

If all three sets cost approximately the same, you might think that a set of all-weather tires is the right choice since you’ll only have to purchase one set and forget a tire change schedule altogether. The problem is, since you’ll be driving with them for all 12 months of the year, all-weather tires have a shorter lifespan.

When swapping out winter tires instead of using strictly all-season tires every six months, this may guarantee your tires will last a lot longer. So, even though you’re paying for two sets, you won’t have to replace those tires nearly as often. In short, if you use all-season tires, which are pricey and not easy to preserve, you might want to invest in a good set of winter tires as well. 

Having winter tires specifically for winter can ensure you have the traction and tires needed to prevent you from drifting on the road, and most importantly, it won’t wear out your all season tires. Instead, getting the right pair of winter tires can save you money and prevent quick wear out for your summer, spring and fall tires. 

Getting your winter tires changed can be tedious, but in Ontario it is good to make sure your tires are changed in preparation for winter, rather than waiting for the last minute. 

You also don’t have to feel like you are stuck changing your tires on your own! There are great service providers like Canadian Tire, Costco, and any other automotive garage that can change your tires and get you all safe and ready for winter. 

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