Remember snow tires? They were basically just regular tires with big, knobby lugs to get them through deep snow. They were loud and rode hard, and Alberta drivers couldn’t wait to get them off the car. Then along came television advertisements for “all-season” radials. Calgary drivers ran out and bought some and we thought we were done with snow tires forever.
Tires have come a long way since then. Modern winter tires sold in the Alberta area are much better designed for the wide range of conditions that come with Calgary winter weather. They are made with a rubber compound that helps them stay flexible in cold weather. Regular tires become hard and stiff at Alberta temperatures below 45°F (7° C) which reduces their traction. That’s a concern in winter, especially with snowy or wet conditions. But it also means that Alberta drivers are better off with winter tires in cold weather even when it’s dry.
The tread design on winter tires has been improved to move snow, slush and water. The lugs and grooves throw packed snow out of the tread as the tire rotates. This means the tread is open and ready to move more snow when it rolls around again. Summer tires can pack up with snow, which makes them more dangerous than a bald tire.
The all-season tire that is popular among Alberta drivers is a compromise between summer and winter performance. This means they give adequate performance for Alberta drivers in either season but aren’t great in either. Summer tires give great performance in hot weather but lousy performance in winter. Alberta drivers need to put more thought into their tire choices these days.
If you want the performance that new winter tires can give you, you should have them properly installed by your friendly and professional service advisor at Lube Town. It’s best to purchase four snow tires and put them on all the wheels of your vehicle. But if you only want two, you need to put them on the rear of your vehicle, even if you drive a front-wheel drive vehicle. Alberta drivers always want to put the tires with the best traction on the rear of the vehicle.
For more auto advice about tires for any Calgary season, ask your friendly and knowledgeable Lube Town tire professional. They can help you find the right tire for your area and for your driving needs. For the best performance from your tires, whatever the season, don’t forget preventive maintenance. Keep your tires up to pressure for the best durability, safety and performance, but don’t overinflate them. Remember, good car care provides the safest road for all of us in Alberta.
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Alberta, Calgary T2G 2R6