Canada has some of the most brutal winters in North America and these weather conditions can lead to some hazardous road conditions. When roads become filled with ice and snow tires can lose traction, making braking less effective and increasing the probability of having accidents. Snow tires also have the additional benefit of reducing your car insurance by proving to insurer’s that you are less of a risk for an accident. On average winter tires are able to shorten the stopping distance of a car by 30-40%. In this article we’re going to highlight some of the best winter tire brands to buy in Canada:
1) Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3
These tires are available through Kal Tire outlets and have earned a reputation for being excellent overall tires. The Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 has a deep tread block with a design similar to an arrow that is designed to channel water and slush away from the tire toprevent slipping and sliding. It is made of a special compound that consists of silica, rapeseed oil and natural rubber. This helps the tires to handle winter conditions well by keeping their flexibility.
2) Michelin X-Ice Snow
This is the latest tire set in the X-ice family and comes with improved hydroplaning resistance and improved durability. It’s the only tire on this list that comes with a mileage warranty. It uses a v-shaped tread pattern that comes with a high void ratio. This allows water and snow to move into the tread and then out through the V shape without getting trapped between the tire and the road. This limits the possibility of slipping and losing control of your vehicle.
3) General Altimax Arctic 12
This tire is a great option if you are looking for a cheap option. The design has high void angled grooves to channel water away from the tire to ensure a good grip on wet roads. Another good feature is that it is designed to have balanced air pressure distribution so that the tire is safer and provides a comfortable ride for a long time.
4) Yokohama BluEarth Winter V905
This is a great eco-friendly tire that offers great protection in the winter. What makes it eco-friendly is the fact that it’s lightweight. This lightweight property means that cars that use this will have a lower field consumption and a smaller carbon footprint. Winter traction is excellent because of the high-silica and orange oil tread compound that keeps the tire flexible and retains its grip even in cold temperatures.
5) Goodyear Ultra Grip
This is a good set of tires for both dry and wet driving conditions. They have been molded with the Goodyear Winter Grip compound to create a direction trend design, this pushes water and slush away from the footprint of the tire in order to handle better in cold and wet conditions.
Tips For Buying Winter Tires
- Don’t confuse winter with all season tires: All season tires are good up to about 7C, after that the rubber compounds used in all-season tires get hard, slippery and start to lose traction.
- Always buy four wheels: Having only two tires as winter tires can cause you to lose control of your vehicle as forces start to shift while driving. It’s recommended to always change all four of your tires to winter tires.
- Always inform your insurance company: Many insurers will give you a discount for installing winter tires and other safety features on your car. So be sure to get proof of the installation and send that to your insurance provider to save money on your car insurance.
Winter tires are great to both drive more safely during the winter months as well as lower your car insurance rates. Here are some general tips on how to drive on highways in Ontario.
Regular tires or all season tires tend to lose their effectiveness around 7 Celsius and lower. Using tires that aren’t designed to handle cold, wet and icy road conditions not only puts you and your family at risk but also everyone that is driving on the road with you. There are several winter tire brands that you can choose from but you want to make sure that no matter what brand you choose that it has the snowflake inside of a mountain symbol. This is an indicator that the tire has been well tested to confirm that it can provide the proper traction even in severe snow.
For a more comprehensive overview check out our Great Canadian Winter Tire Guide here.