The Importance of Winter Tires in North Vancouver

Minit-Tune & Brake| Friday, January 30, 2015

Winter driving is never easy, but with proper foresight, maintenance, and planning, you can ensure that you and your loved ones get to your destination safely. Toward that end, before you pull out of your Coquitlam neighbourhood, it makes sense to ensure that your vehicle is up to the task of handling the black ice and freezing conditions of the Barnet Highway. As such, if you are off to a winter holiday of skiing in Whistler, or you are merely trying to traverse your way across an icy patch of Marine Drive without ending up in a local North Vancouver hospital; make sure that your major car components are up to snuff when it comes to winter driving conditions.

Snow Tires for that Extra Traction

Al-season tires have been popular for their convenience and ease of use. Pop them on and drive until they drop is the philosophy regarding their use as compared to the putting on, and taking off, of winter tires every season. While it is true that all-season tires provide a sense of relief from the hassles of having to change your tires every three months: only snow tires can deliver the level of assurance that the winter driving conditions of the Lower Mainland demand.

Vehicle tires have a temperature range in which that type of tire performs at maximum efficiency. For instance, summer tires do best when the temperature is warm, while all-season tires are most effective when the temperatures are moderate; and finally, winter tires are truly in their element when the mercury starts to plunge. When it comes to cold weather, seven degree Celsius is the key temperature index that indicates when looking for snow tires for sale should be added to your to-do list.

Here in British Columbia, we know that dropping temperatures can lead to dangerous road conditions, and only the complete traction of a winter tire can help keep our vehicles on the road. As such, rather than end up flatfooted in Fleetwood in Surrey because you hit a spot of black ice before hitting the car parked along the road, you should look into finding tire stores in Vancouver that have snow tires for sale.

More tips for preparing your vehicle during the winter months:

Keep Your Cool with your Car’s Cooling Systems

It may seem counterintuitive to worry about an overheating engine when the temperature is 3° below zero, but that is the reality of cold weather driving. Icy conditions can cause serious damage to brittle hoses, gaskets, and other critical mechanisms, so make sure you inspect these from the relative comfort of your garage rather than stranded along a lonely stretch of Scott Road in Surrey.

See What’s Out There with New Wiper Blades

From the farms of Fraser Valley to the streets of downtown North Vancouver, winter driving means wet driving, so ensuring that your windshield’s wipers are in top-notch form is important. After all, you can’t dodge what you can’t see. Winter weather might recommend installing rubber-coated blades, which provide added weight to the glass, but do so at the expense of your windshield wiper motor overtaxing and shortening the life span of the mechanism.

While we are on the topic of being able to see, always lay in additional supplies of window washing fluid, and keep in your trunk, to help combat against the dirt and grime that is thrown up off the highways. Throughout the Lower Mainland from Burnaby’s Canada Way to the roads of New Westminster, and all points in between, restricted visibility means an increased chance of accidents.

Batteries Work Hard in Winter

When it rains, it pours in British Columbia, and when cold weather hits the Greater Vancouver area, your car battery takes a double hit when the temperature drops to single digits. This is simply because the engine’s fluids have lost any semblance of viscosity, and just as you struggle to get out of your warm Kitsilano bed in the morning, so too does your motor resist exiting its frozen slumber. Additionally, at the same time that your motor is being recalcitrant, your battery itself is operating at less than peak efficiency owing to the toll that the cold weather is taking on the battery’s cold cranking amps.

Should you buy winter tires or settle for all-season tires? Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Care Centres in British Columbia answers this and other winter car queries.

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