PASSENGER ALL-SEASON TIRES

  • Longer treadwear plus a good ride and reasonable traction.
  • Emphasis is on good wear, a plush ride, and predictable handling.
  • Passenger All-Season tires will not match that of performance or touring tires. 
  • Branded with the M+S symbol and capable of providing year-round traction (even in light snow)
  • All-season tires are really for three seasons, and winter is not one of them. 
  • They overlap the difference between winter and summer tires, which means they are a compromise.
  • The rubber compound in all-season tires is formulated so it doesn’t get too soft in hot weather, while the rubber mix in winter tires doesn’t get hard in the cold. 
  • All-season compound stays firm but flexible over a wider range of temperatures, but it isn’t as effective at the extremes. 
  • When the thermometer drops below 7°C, winter tires provide better grip, including on dry pavement.

Examples

HIGH-PERFORMANCE ALL-SEASON TIRES

  • A nice balance of responsive handling, with good 3 season traction and acceptable tread life.
  • Branded with the M+S symbol but not really recommended for any wintertime driving. (but legal) must have a minimum (5/32nds)
  • Designed for performance and handling.

Examples

SUMMER TIRES

  • Ideal for high-performance vehicles, and are built for speed and agility.
  • Increases in responsiveness, cornering, and braking capabilities. 
  • Not Branded with the M+S symbol so not legal for any wintertime driving.
  • Specialized tread patterns and rubber compounds that allow for improved precision on the road. 
  • Less grooving and put more rubber in contact with the road. They are design­ed to provide maximum road-holding grip.
  • Compounds of summer tires are designed to remain more flexible, allowing for better traction and grip. 
  • Summer tires may have shallower tread depths that allow for more stability when pushed closer to their limits.

Examples

TRUCK/SUV TIRES ( Typically 3 types of design- H/T – A/T – MT )

  • Capable both on- and off-road, with much more off-road toughness than highway tires, Expect to sacrifice some comfort and paved-road traction to get it.
  • These tires typically have as much capability off the road as they do on the road. 
  • They feature multifaceted tread blocks to help deliver traction in any direction on gravel roads and dirt trails
  • Branded with the M+S symbol indicating their ability to provide all-season versatility.
  • Some branded with the 3PMS 

Examples

WINTER / SNOW TIRES (Oct 1 – Apr 30th mountain highways)

3 PMS Mountain Snow Flake
  • They’re designed for cold weather that can be dry, snowy, or rainy. 
  • Their grooves channel away slush and snow, and they have lots of sipes – those are the tiny slits in the tread – that improves grip and helps prevent hydroplaning (hydroplaning is when the tire “floats” on top of a puddle instead of pushing through and contacting the asphalt).
  • Different levels of winter tires, so choose the one that’s most appropriate for your conditions. Some have very aggressive tread for deep snow, while others may have mounting holes to insert studs if your part of the country that permits them.
  • Stud use is restricted or banned in some provinces. (In BC Oct 1- April 30th)

Meet severe snow service standards, branded with a mountain/snowflake symbol. 

Also referred to as 3PMS ( 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake )

Examples

Recommended to install winter tires in sets of four. (It’s not illegal to install 2 winters – 2 all-seasons). We will if winters are on the back, all seasons on the front

*  Should the best winter tires be installed on the front? … watch video

ALL-WEATHER TIRES

What they’re all about?

Relatively new to the market, all-weather tires are basically all-seasons with better winter performance. They can handle warmer weather, but their compound and tread move farther over to the winter side than those of all-season tires. They carry the mountain and snowflake logo that indicates a winter tire, which qualifies them under Quebec and BC requirements, and for insurance discounts.

The pros and cons

  • One set of tires do you all year, without the need to buy, swap, and store. 
  • Most of them do a very good job of getting through snow and channeling away water to help prevent hydroplaning.
  • Compromise between the seasons, they’re still not as effective as dedicated winter tires, especially for braking distance. 
  • Their rubber compound is softer than an all-season, they tend not to last as long, and their tread-wear warranty is usually shorter than that of an all-season.  All-Weather tires usually do come with a mileage warranty (check manufacturer). Winter tires seldom, if ever, come with a tread-wear warranty.

Examples

Should you use them?

All-weather tires are mostly suited for drivers in areas that don’t get a lot of snow and ice, or very cold winters – think Toronto or BC’s Lower Mainland, not Whitehorse (or, for that matter, frequent trips to skiing or cottage country). Winter tires are still better, but if you’re dead-set against buying and installing them, then we suggest using all-weather.

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