6 Reasons to Switch from All-Season Tires to Winter Tires

The beauty of Canada is that it’s a wide-ranging province with climates that differ from coast-to-coast, and thus may require different tires in one part of the region than the other. You may be able to get away with using all-season tires in some parts of the country who don’t see that much snow, but here in Alberta, it’s an entirely different case. Winter tires are a must (even before the snow hits the ground), and greatly outperform all-season tires during the cold months. If you’re unconvinced of needing a separate set of winter tires, we’ve compiled 6 top reasons why you should switch your all-season tires to winter tires for the season.

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1. Deeper Winter Tire Treads

How you get traction with your tires is pretty simple, its treads dig into the road (or snow below) in an effort to maximize the amount of rubber touching down, and thus produces more stability. With snow comes a harder job to break through that impediment and grip the road, but winter tires feature deeper treads than all-season tires so they can move through that snow, grab onto the road, and spit the snow/slush out behind.

2. The Advantages of Sipes

Every design on your winter tire is purposeful, take, for instance, those little slits you see all over its treads. These slits, known as sipes, take the water that the snow or ice transforms into and pushes it behind the tire as you move forward. This is important as it prevents your tires from slipping and helps to get rid of those impediments as efficiently as possible for a smooth ride.

Close-up view of snow packed in tire treads and snow beneath it

3. Hydrophilic Rubber

Toyota-approved winter tires, in specific, over all-season tires, also come made with a special rubber compound, known as hydrophilic rubber. Where typical rubber on a normal all-season tire may repel water, it still leaves a very small slippery surface on the tire, in comparison to hydrophilic rubber, which is specifically made to grip the road even when it’s wet.

4. Soft Rubber > Hard Rubber

We’re focusing on the rubber a lot in this blog, and for good reason, as there’s a multitude of ways that the rubber on a winter tire is completely different than on an all-season tire, even if they may look quite similar to the naked eye. Winter tires are made from a softer rubber than the harder rubber of all-season tires. This is so that the rubber can more easily grip the road when it’s cold. Even if the road is completely bare of snow, winter tires still outperform all-season tires in their ability to grip dry roads when it’s cold out.

5. Stopping Power

You may not ever feel like you can stop with full confidence on a snow and ice-covered road, but what is for sure is that winter tires give you the best stopping distance, especially when every inch is paramount. We’ve dedicated an entire blog on the subject, but the important information to know is that winter tires help your vehicle stop about 6-7 feet shorter than all-season tires, which is a huge difference for safe driving.

6. Insurance Benefits

Depending on your insurance company, it’s possible that you may be able to get an insurance discount if you’re using proper winter tires instead of off-season all-season tires. It may not apply in all cases, but it’s worth checking in with your insurance company about the possibility, as you’re doing the work out on the road to mitigate risk as best as possible.

For any more questions about all-season, winter tires or any other variation of tires that concern your Toyota or off-make, please contact the experts at our tire centre, today.