Snow has arrived on the Coquihalla Highway, a sure sign that winter is on the way. While dreams of skiing and snowmobiling may bring a smile to your face, it’s no doubt that winter driving is not your favourite sport. At this time of year, our thoughts, here at Advance Auto Service, turn to keeping drivers safe on the road this winter. Our question is – do you have winter tires on your vehicle?

When do I put my winter tires on?

The Ministry of Transportation BC dictates that summer tires are not permitted for driving during designated winter months, or October 1 to April 30. It’s actually illegal to drive without them over the Coquihalla or other signed BC highways. Given our unpredictable weather patterns of late, it’s best to be prepared and have your winter tires on in plenty of time before snow falls and the temperatures drop to 7 Celsius – the temperature where summer tires harden too much and winters become effective on road surfaces. Install four matching winter tires. It might be tempting to save money by installing two winters on the front and keeping summer tires on the back for your front wheel drive, but this is not legal or safe. Variations in tire tread will also cause handling problems and uneven tread wear. Also, chains on summer tires are not a legal substitute for winter tires.

What type of winter tire should I buy?

Legal winter tires must be labelled with the letters M and S and/or the mountain-snowflake symbol. Mountain-snowflake marked tires are best for winter conditions. For extreme winter driving conditions, please carry a set of chains along with your winter safe-driving kit (details on this kit coming in a future blog). Studded tires have metal embedded in the tread and are strong enough to dig into ice for added traction. They are tough enough to dig into pavement though, and damage the road surface off season, so studded tires are illegal to drive on in the spring and summer. They are a noisy ride, and handle exceptionally well in extreme weather, but improvements in rubber compounds have made studless winter tires the most common option for BC drivers.

Can you change my tires for me?

Absolutely. Not only can we change your tires, but we will recommend which tire to choose for your vehicle and driving style. The goal, as always, is safety first, and we work hard to implement our knowledge of tires and winter driving to help our customers prepare.
Call the pro-team at Advance Auto Service in Kamloops to book an appointment. Our fully licensed technicians can help you buy the right tire, tire installations, rotation and balancing. We’ve been serving Kamloops and the outlying area since 1988 and look forward to keeping you safe on BC’s winter roads.
From the team at Advance Auto Service in Kamloops