the driving difference at 7-degrees

Can you see your breath? Then it’s time to consider winter tires for your vehicle. That’s the 7-degree rule.
Here's how.

Winter Tires  

  • PERFORMS IN 7-DEGREES AND BELOW
  • SUPERIOR ACCELERATING IN WINTER CONDITIONS
  • SUPERIOR BRAKING IN WINTER CONDITIONS
  • SUPERIOR HANDLING IN WINTER CONDITIONS
  • REDUCED FUEL CONSUMPTION BY 5% DURING WINTER MONTHS

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ALL WEATHER TIRES  

  • FAIR IN SPRING, SUMMER AND FALL
  • LESS CONTROL THAN WINTER TIRES IN WINTER CONDITIONS
  • SUPERIOR TO ALL-SEASON TIRES IN WINTER CONDITIONS
  • ALL-YEAR ROUND TIRES
  • BEST FOR GEOGRAPHIC REGIONS WHERE WINTER SNOW AND
    ICE ARE NOT A BIG ISSUE

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ALL SEASON TIRES  

  • SIGNIFICANTLY LESS TRACTION IN WINTER CONDITIONS
  • STOPPING IS DELAYED BY 30% AT 7-DEGREES OR LOWER
  • SUPERIOR HANDLING IN HOT TEMPERATURES

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WINTER TIRE FAQS

Find out what’s legal, what the badges mean, and which winter tires are best for your vehicle.

Who needs winter tires?

Not every Canadian region encounters snow, but most of the country has winter temperatures consistently as cold as, or colder than +7 ℃. While all-season and all-weather tires provide safe all-weather performance, winter tires are a safer option once the temperatures start to fall. If you are driving at +7 ℃ or below winter tires are the safer option. Installing winter tires can offer up to 50% more traction than all-season tires.

When should I install winter tires?

You should install your winter tires when you can see your breath, which is 7℃ and below. All-season and all-weather tires harden at this temperature which reduces their traction and handling.

How do winter tires work?

All-season and all-weather tires harden below 7℃, reduction traction significantly. Winter tires work because their rubber composition is softer, which is why they stay flexible in the colder temperatures. They also have grooves that provide a better grip and handling in conditions like snow and ice. With winter tires, it’s about the temperature not the snow.

Is the tread different on winter tires?

Yes, winter tires have a single-directional tread that pushes away snow and ice. They also have a deeper tread. Tires must have 3.5mm of tread remaining to be considered winter tires.

Can I just switch two tires?

If you’re replacing your tires, you should replace them all.

Having four tires with the same tread patterns, materials, size, and tread wear will improve handling. This will give you better control of your vehicle on wet, slippery roads.

Mixing tires can compromise your vehicle’s stability and can easily lead to oversteering and understeering, compromising road safety. That’s why Transport Canada recommends that snow tires be installed in sets of four. And why we’ve made it our policy at Fountain Tire.

For more information, view our Winter Tire Policy.

What do the badges mean?

This has a 3-peaked mountain and snowflake symbol on the tire. It is also the best winter tires for traction on snow and ice, and in cold weather.

M+S: This is the mud and snow symbol on the side of the tire. These tires offer better traction than summer tires.

What is the law?

Quebec and British Columbia are the only provinces that mandate winter tires in the winter months due to their mountain roads.

BRITISH COLUMBIA:

From October 1 to March 31 drivers must obey winter tire and chain signs throughout BC. It is recommended that drivers install mountain/snowflake tires for cold weather driving and, for extreme conditions, carry chains.

For more information please visit The Province of British Columbia.

QUEBEC:

In Quebec winter tires are mandatory by law from December 15 to March 15.

For more information please visit Société de l’assurance automobile Quebec.

What do winter tires cost?

A lot of people don’t change their tires because of how expensive they are. However, according to Traffic Injury Research Foundation, ‘research suggests that using winter tires is, in the long-term, less expensive than using all-season tires.’ When you switch between two sets of tires, you prolong the life of each set. Find out which winter tires are best suited for your vehicle by filling out the form below.

GET YOUR WINTER GROOVES

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SOURCES

Tire and Rubber Association of Canada
ICBC
Traffic Injury Research Foundation