When should I switch my winter tires in the spring?

Published On: April 1st, 2018Categories: Personal Insurance

It is getting warmer!

Warmer weather is coming, and with it, the time to change our winter tires! The question we hear the most during this time of year is, “When can I switch off my winter tires?”

There are two answers to this question – one is to ensure you are entitled to your discount with the insurance carrier, and the other is purely for your safety. We recommend satisfying both answers before you make the switch.

When do the insurance companies say I can switch my winter tires?

In Ontario, most drivers who put winter tires on their vehicle for the winter are entitled to a discount on their auto insurance premium. However, to make sure this discount is realized, winter tires must stay on the vehicle until April 1st. While this is required to satisfy the insurance company requirement, we also recommend considering the temperature outside.

How does temperature affect my tires for driving?

Instead of going by the calendar, we suggest going by the temperature outside. The industry norm is to wait until the temperature is consistently above 7 degrees Celsius. To receive the maximum safety benefit of winter tires, this may mean waiting until mid-April to have your warmer weather tires installed. Which prompts a final question we receive…

Why can’t I just leave my winter tires on throughout the year?

As someone who puts winter tires on my family’s vehicles every year, I can’t recommend them enough. The softer rubber compound in a good set of winter tires offers enhanced performance and safety during our cold Ontario winters. Warm weather is a different story.

In the warmer weather, the softer tire wears faster and sees a drastic decline in performance. In extreme heat, winter tires can disintegrate and cause other serious problems for yourself and others around you on the road. But before extreme heat even comes into play, there are other reasons, as highlighted in testing by CAA, to have your winter tires changed with the warmer weather.

Four reasons to switch your tires in warmer weather:

Increased stopping distance – In-vehicle breaking tests, winter tires perform worse than all-seasons and summer tires in warm weather.

Reduced grip and increased slip – when cornering, especially when the road is wet, winter tires are known to lose grip and slip.

Increased tire wear – driving on winter tires in warm weather will wear the treads out quickly, causing you to purchase new winter tires sooner.

Reduced fuel economy – winter tires in warm weather created added road friction (more of the tire is on the road), which creates greater rolling resistance and reduced fuel economy.

Have questions? We are here to help. Please reach out to us at 1-800-661-5196 or send a general email to connect@brysoninsurance.ca.

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Written by:

Matthew Leyland
Director of Personal Insurance Integrity, trust, hard work, technical know-how, and compassion for my team and clients is foundation for me. I believe in providing our team with the same unbelievable experience our team provides our clients.


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