The only part of your vehicle that actually touches the road, tires play a huge role in your vehicle’s performance. And while this is true year-round, they take on an even more critical role during the winter season. Read on to learn why winter tires are not only a smart investment in your vehicle and your safety, but how changing to winter tires could be the least expensive and most impactful thing you could do to prepare your vehicle for Alberta’s long (and cold) winter season.

Why choose winter tires?

Just like how a set of bald tires will provide you with very little traction on a dry road, regular (read performance or all-season) tires won’t provide you with the necessary traction come winter. First of all, winter tires are made from rubber compounds specially designed to maintain their flexibility when the temperature drops, whereas other tires will stiffen up and lose their ability to grip the road. They also have unique, deeper tread patterns that are better able to gain traction whether the roads are wet, icy, or covered in deep snow. They also feature larger biting edges, which allows them to make better contact with the road. This means more control when turning, and more stopping power—which can easily mean the difference between a minor fender bender or something far worse.

When should you swap to winter tires?

While they’re the best tires to use when there’s snow on the ground, you don’t want to use your winter tires year-round—and you don’t want to wait until the first snowfall. Not only will you wear down the treads of your winter tires by driving them during the summer, but if you wait until it snows it may already be too late. The tires your vehicle came with were probably deemed to be “all-season tires”, which is only true for select climates. The reality is, the rubber compounds used in all-season tires start to become less effective at or below about 7 degrees celsius. In Alberta, this can vary, but it usually happens around September or October. So by switching earlier, not only will you enjoy more control of your vehicle but you’ll also beat the winter-tire rush that happens every year around the first snowfall.

If you’re looking to add a set of winter tires to your Ford vehicle, then book a service appointment or swing on by Fort Saskatchewan’s Heartland Ford today. We carry a huge selection of winter tires designed with your specific Ford model in mind, ensuring you can enjoy all of your vehicle’s stellar performance year-round. Right now, you’ll even be able to take advantage of Ford’s Winter Performance Package, a group of winter-ready accessories to go along with your winter tires you can read more about here. From new and pre-owned vehicles, to service, financing, and more, Heartland Ford is the heart of all things Ford in Alberta!