Treading the Legal Limit with Winter Tires

Treading the Legal Limit with Winter Tires

Every year, winter seems to sneak up on most of us. It’s an important time of year to pay special attention to vehicle maintenance if you want to avoid a $109 fine for not having winter tires while driving on BC highways. If the fine isn’t enough of an incentive, the slipping, sliding, higher risk of accidents and overall vehicle performance should have you driving straight into our shop for a winter tire install.

When you live in the Okanagan for any amount of time, you know the weather can change quickly, and the steep, winding roads can cause severe winter driving issues. Heck, winter tires could have come in handy for BC drivers this past June when a blizzard hit the Connector! Anything is possible, and we’d hate for you to be unprepared for Ole Man Winter or get a fine.

One of the most common questions we hear is, “Will my tires last another season?”

Great question. We all want to stretch out the life of our tires. They’re not cheap, but installing tires that have reached their life span can be detrimental.

Just because a tire looks like it has good tread, does not mean it passes. Tires need adequate tread depth so they can bite into the snow, move through slush, and effectively stop on ice.

Although tires aren’t legally worn out until they reach 1.9mm to the wear bars, you run the risk of decreased snow traction because there isn’t enough of a biting edge; the grooves are simply too shallow. Furthermore, the evacuation of water and slush becomes diminished many kilometres before you even notice an issue with traction creating a higher chance of increased stopping time and even hydroplaning.

Tires must pass three necessary tests to deliver good winter performance: an appropriate tread design, pliable tread compound and sufficient tread depth.

If any of these fundamental features are absent or compromised, we don’t install the tire without first speaking with the vehicle owner. Safety for our customers is always top of mind.

Did you know that even with a premium winter tire, if the tread is between 50 and 75 percent wear, it can take 3 extra metres to stop on snow and ice? With economy tires, it can take nearly 5 extra metres.

Nobody gets overly excited about purchasing new winter tires. Still, when it comes to the tread left on tires, the difference in millimeters can make a massive impact on whether you and your car stay safe on the BC’s winter roads this season.

Winter never sneaks up on us here at Motor Werke, and we are prepared to help ensure you and our vehicle stay safe this winter driving season. We have courtesy cars and shuttle service available to keep you mobile while we install your winter tires.

Book a winter tire appointment with us today!