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Winter Tires vs. All Season Tires: What Do I Need in Toronto?

Winter Tires vs. All Season Tires: What Do I Need in Toronto?

Toronto Winters can be unpredictable with severe driving conditions occurring quickly. This can mean everything from extreme snowfalls to below-freezing temperatures and unpredictable road conditions (such as slush, sleet and black ice).

If you are new to Canada, it is absolutely essential you prepare your vehicle for the winter months ahead. 

A common question we receive is about the differences between winter tires vs. all-season tires and which is right for a Toronto winter.

We put together a post that breaks down the major differences between both types of tires and which is the best option. If you still have questions about winter tires, please contact our team today at (416) 748-2900. 

Winter Tires vs. All-Season Tires

Let’s explore the difference between winter tires and all-season tires and discuss which is better for a winter in Toronto.

All-Season Tires

Versatility: All-season tires are designed to provide a compromise between the varying demands of different seasons. They perform reasonably well in a range of conditions. 

Tread Design: They have a tread pattern that is less aggressive compared to winter tires. This makes them quieter and provides decent traction in wet and dry conditions.

Temperature Range: All-season tires work across a broad temperature range, which makes them suitable for regions with milder winters.

Winter Performance: While they can handle light snow and slush, all-season tires are not as effective as winter tires in extreme winter conditions, such as heavy snow, ice, or freezing temperatures. This is largely due to the rubber they are made from which tends to harden in cold weather, resulting in reduced traction on slippery surfaces. 

Winter Tires

Specific Design: Winter tires are made from a soft rubber compound that is specifically designed to be more flexible at lower temperatures. This helps the tire maintain flexibility and grip on snowy and slippery road surfaces. 

Tread Design: Winter tires have a unique tread pattern that includes deeper and wider grooves, along with small slits in the tread blocks. These features help the tire grab snow and ice and push slush and water away from the tire to improve your grip.

Temperature Range: They maintain their flexibility and grip in temperatures below 45°F (7°C), ensuring better performance in cold conditions.

Winter Performance: Winter tires significantly outperform all-season tires in heavy snow, icy conditions, and extreme cold temperatures. They offer better traction, shorter stopping distances, and improved control.

Which Tire Is Better for a Winter in Toronto?

Toronto weather can be really variable in the winter with temperatures frequently dropping below freezing. Because of this unpredictability, we always recommend that our customers have winter tires.

Winter tires provide better traction and handling on snow and ice, which is crucial for safety when driving in winter conditions.

Winter tires are also optimized for the specific challenges of winter. This equates to things like better grip, shorter stopping distances, and overall improved performance.

Do I Get an Insurance Discount With Winter Tires?

While winter Tires are not mandatory in Ontario, the government recommends using them between October 1st and April 30. This is because it makes such a difference in terms of safety on the roads. 

To further incentivize drivers, you can also receive up to a 5% discount on your annual car insurance. While this may seem like a small amount of savings, it eventually adds up. These savings are also applied to your insurance year-round, not just during the winter months. 

To Sum Up...

While all-season tires are more versatile, they do not offer nearly the same level of performance and safety during snowy winter months.

Fun Fact: Winter tires actually have better traction at -30°C than all seasons do at +4°C.  Thanks to their deeper and unique tread patterns which are specifically designed for the conditions of winter. 

This means if you hit a patch of ice this winter while driving or find yourself in the middle of a snowstorm, you can grip the road better and stop quicker in comparison to all-season tires. Both of these factors can be the difference between you getting home safely or hitting the ditch. 

Using winter tires during the winter season in Toronto is the recommended choice to ensure your safety and others on the road.

We also recommend switching back to all-season tires when the season is over to extend the life of your winter tires. Doing this can help your tires last years longer.

Shopping For Winter Tires?

Ready to purchase new winter tires for your vehicle? Come see our team at Woodbine Nissan located in Etobicoke — just ten minutes from the Toronto International Airport.

Our knowledgeable team of tire specialists can help you choose the right brand and type of tire for your winter driving needs. 

We carry a large selection of premium winter tire products from the top tire brands including Yokohama, Toyo and Michelin. These Nissan Approved Tires have been rigorously tested on numerous performance, capability and comfort standards in order to give our customers the best winter tire experience possible. 

If you have questions about pricing or the products we carry, reach out to one of our team members online or call our experts at (416) 748-2900.

We are open Monday - Saturday to serve you. You can also book a service appointment online. And be sure to follow us on Instagram for the latest news, updates and offers from our team.

Categories: Service, Parts