winter tire mistakes

The Worst Winter Tire Mistakes

Fall is a breathtaking time of year in BC, and especially in Kelowna. Alas, every year it gives way to winter and all of the safe driving challenges that come with it including some serious winter tire mistakes. From slick roads to poor visibility, there’s not much you can do to control the weather but you can control the safety features of your car.

Here’s what you can do to avoid the worst winter tire mistakes:

Assuming Winter Tires Just For Really Snowy Conditions

BC is known all over Canada for its mild winters, and that means that all-season tires should be just fine, right? Wrong! Winter tires used to be known as snow tires, but that was a bit misleading because they’re not just meant for snowy conditions. In fact, winter tires are best used whenever the daytime temperature is below 7°C.

Thinking Winter Tires Are Too Expensive

There is no doubt that having a second set of tires can be a heavy upfront investment. However, there is overall longevity to take into consideration. A set of all-season tires will, under optimal driving conditions, last for around 40,000 kilometers. If you’re driving 20,000 kilometers a year, and the average Canadian does, that means replacing tires every two years. If you are using winter tires for roughly half of the year, the frequency of replacement will be diminished, thus making the cost of winter tires less dramatically than it seems.

Not Complying With The Law

It’s true that on city streets or in and around the Okanagan Valley winter tires are optional. However, it’s a different story on many highways in BC. As of October 1, the Province of British Columbia has passed a law that requires all vehicles travelling on mountain passes to use winter tires until the end of March. Learn more about the specific guidelines surrounding the use of winter tires in this article from the province.

Assuming 4WD or AWD is a Reasonable Alternative

There’s no question that in areas where winter conditions are a fact of life, four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles have a major advantage. That extra torque can really help drivers get out of a jam. However, many winter accidents come from a loss of traction – literally where the rubber meets the road, or more accurately where it doesn’t. Careful driving can certainly help, but winter tires are statistically proven to reduce accidents in places where their use is mandated by law.

Waiting Until It’s Too Late To Switch To Winter Tires

According to Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, winter tires begin to lose their elasticity at around 7°C. A quick glance at the weather forecast for the Okanagan Valley shows that the average temperature in Kelowna falls below that mark at this time of year. Legalities aside, the time to make the switch and avoid winter tire mistakes is now!

Motor Werke specializes in the service of European automobile brands. For a limited time, we’re offering complimentary tire storage when you purchase a new set of winter tires. Book your winter tire service and storage today!