First things first, don’t set out to find the best winter tire for your car alone; you should also consider your driving habits and the kind of roads you ply regularly. That’s how to find the best winter tire that works for you. Read on to learn more about this and other tips that will help you choose the right winter tire.
Skip the Fluff
Nowadays, almost everybody is a marketer and that includes the people around you – you know them, friends, family. Someone from this circle may be so certain that the winter tire they are using is just what you need but that doesn’t mean it is best for your car. Even if you want to consider their option, it is best to do your due diligence. This leads to the next point.
Winter tires are different and as such, you need to ask questions to learn about their capabilities. This obviously means you need to see these tires physically (not online) and have a sales rep give you a tour; especially if you’re buying them for the first time. 9 out of 10 times, these reps might want to sell you the best deal of the day but what good is that if it doesn’t suit your preferences? Ask to see more options and visually compare quality, paying close attention to treads, flexibility, and stiffness.
Watch Out for Winter Tire Sales and Deals
You don’t just want to find the best winter tires for your car, you also want to get them at a good price! While some people recommend buying your winter tires during Spring when dealers and tire shops are clearing out their inventories, others think that timing isn’t ideal. The problem with buying your winter tire during Spring is that you’d discover that most winter sizes are sold out, there are no rebates and shops are already so busy with summer tires. However, you can be on the look out for great deals at Costco, Canadian Tire, Kijiji and several others.
When to Buy Your Winter Tires
Most people recommend buying winter tires in Fall because then you can the freshest tire and winter rebate. You might be able to get it in the spring for a bit cheaper, however you will lose a whole year of shelf life because you won’t use the tire until next winter. Still, most warehouses are usually stocked for winter tire sales by late August or early September. Waiting until late October or when it actually starts snowing in most areas can increase the risk of having to choose from very restricted selections since there’s a rush during this time.
Consider Driving Frequency
The more time you spend on the roads, the faster the treads on your winter tires wear down. More so in the poor weather conditions of winter. If you are a frequent driver it is ideal to invest in a high-quality winter tire.
Consider Driving Route
Should you get an ice tire or snow tire? This largely depends on the type of roads you mainly drive on. If you live and commute in an area where it snows frequently, snow tires have deep grooves and large blocks that make them better suited for this. Do you drive mostly on highways? Ice tires are highly recommended here. Ice tires have treads that make it easier to channel the thin layer of water covering ice roads.
Studded or Studless Winter Tires
How can you choose between these two?
On the one hand, studded tires have metal studs lodged within the tread and are there to dig into the ice, thus improving traction. Studless tires, on the other hand, have no metal studs but do have reliable tread designs and improved rubber compounding that makes it as good as studded tires. What’s the verdict? Both tires are capable of handling extreme winter driving conditions but if you need a little more reassurance and don’t mind a noisy ride, studded tires would work best for you.
Our final tip for you, which re-emphasizes one of the tips above, is to opt for high-end winter tires especially if you plan on using them for up to 5 years. They are generally more durable and effective on the roads. But keep in mind that maintenance and rotation play a part in this too.