Winter Tires vs. All Season Tires
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Tires are the most ignored and underrated component of your vehicle. They are the only interface between your Honda and the road to provide traction to accelerate, steer and stop. Your Honda dealer knows your vehicle best and will ensure it’s equipped with the optimum choice of tire for your driving needs.
- Winter tires stay flexible in temperatures below 7°C to provide the necessary traction for cold-weather driving conditions.
- They reduce braking distance on cold, wet, ice and snow-covered roads in comparison to all-season tires.
- The traction provided by winter tires enhances the performance of anti-lock braking systems (ABS), vehicle stability assist (VSA), traction control and all-wheel drive in winter conditions.
- Industry data shows that in cold weather, a vehicle equipped with winter tires has approximately a 40% less chance of being involved in a collision versus one equipped with all-season tires.
- All-season tires are designed to provide traction and durability in a wide variety of seasonal road conditions. However, they cannot provide the same levels of traction in winter conditions as a proper winter tire.
- They are best suited for use in temperatures above 7°C.
While all-season tires are designed to provide traction in a variety of summer weather conditions, they are not made to provide grip in severe winter conditions. The primary difference between summer and winter tires is not in their treads, although those may differ as well, but in the rubber that makes up the tires. Winter tires are made with a softer, more silicone-rich rubber compound that stays pliable when temperatures drop below -7 degrees Celsius.
The title “all-season” is a bit of a misnomer in Canada, as all-season tires are really a poor choice for our winter conditions. In above-zero temperatures, all-seasons will perform fine, but you will observe a dramatic difference once temperatures drop.
Switching a front-wheel-drive car to winter tires may actually offer superior traction than a vehicle with all-wheel-drive and all-season tires in the same conditions. A study conducted by the Quebec Ministry of Transport showed that a proper winter tire can improve braking up to 25% over an all-season tire, and can improve collision avoidance by approximately 38%. Of course, combining all-wheel-drive with winter tires will give you the best traction of all in the winter months.