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Photo by Jan Baborák

When to Install Winter Tires   

As soon as the temperature consistently dips below 7°C drivers should change over to winter tires to benefit from the increased traction, braking and handling in all winter conditions, including snowy, icy, and cold and dry pavement.

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When to Install Winter Tires

When choosing winter tires, take into consideration how much winter driving will you do, your driving habits, local driving conditions, and the level or safety and performance you expect from your vehicle and your tires, and consider your overall driving needs:

  • Do you live where cold temperatures are common?
  • Do you drive on icy or snowy roads?

  • Do you have to use your vehicle every day, regardless of the weather?
  • Do you drive off main streets and roads in winter?

  • Do you drive early in the morning or late at night in winter?

  • Do you drive nearly the same speed regardless of temperature?

Talk to your tire dealer about your driving habits and the winter road conditions you drive in to determine what kind of winter tires are best for you.

Installing Four Winter Tires

When equipping your vehicle with winter tires, it is important to install four winter tires to help maintain control and stability of the vehicle. Anything less than four winter tires compromises vehicle safety and the overall effectiveness of winter tires.

Installing Two Winter Tires on the Front Axle Only

Never install two winter tires on the front axle of a vehicle only. Installing two winter tires on the front axle only increases the grip in the front and leads to a false sense of confidence. The difference in tire grip between the front and rear wheels will cause oversteer.

Installing Two Winter Tires on the Rear Axle Only

Never install two winter tires on the rear axle of a vehicle only. Installing two winter tires on the rear axle will increase grip in the rear, and the difference in grip between the front and rear tires will cause understeer.

Tire and Rubber Association of Canada

A19–260 Holiday Inn Drive
Cambridge, ON N3C 4E8