Even though Ottawa has been seeing less snowfall of late (especially compared to when Import Car Centre opened its doors 30 years ago), the need for winter tires is increasingly important, given cold temperatures and the fact that most cars are now equipped with 17”, 18” and 19” tires.
The wider the tire the more it has to push away to get to the pavement, which is why we typically recommend a narrower rim and tire. By doing so, we maintain the overall diameter, so the car’s computer system doesn’t even notice. The narrower tire reduces the amount of snow it has to push to get to pavement—the faster the tire hits the pavement, the more responsive it will be.
People often wonder whether winter tires are worth the expense. If you ask us, for Ottawa winters, even the lowest-quality winter tire is better than the best all-season tire. Winter tires are made with softer rubber compounds so that, even during our cold winters, they still have the flex and the properties they need to perform. All-season tires are built with a harder compound, which loses its properties as the temperature decreases.
What are your thoughts on winter tires? Post them to the Comments section below…