TIPS FROM THE MUFFLERMAN
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Winter Tire Swaps during COVID-19
With summer quickly approaching and temperatures on the rise, we’ve received dozens of questions regarding the topic of winter tires.
Specifically, our most commonly asked question is:
“Is removing winter tires considered essential during a pandemic?”
Snow tires are designed to give your vehicle stability as you drive in ice, snow and frigid temperatures. The deep tread and tire edges grip the road and reduce snow buildup —- both of which can lead to sliding and loss of control.
Although snow tires provide an abundance of benefits during the winter, the same can’t be said when it comes to summer driving.
In fact, leaving your winter tires on during the summer can actually damage your tires. Keeping winter tires on during the summer increases the risk of aquaplaning, which can cause your vehicle to slide uncontrollably on a wet surface. This is because winter tires do not shed water as effectively as summer or all-season tires, nor do they perform as well on dry asphalt.
Although the temperatures may still be brisk in some parts of Canada, it’s a different story in Ontario. As temperatures surpass 7 degrees Celsius, winter tires begin to lose their grip and can become damaged.
Another factor to consider is the guidelines provided by your insurance company. Broadly, most companies suggest removing your winter tires between the end of March and mid-April. This means that Ontarian’s are in the clear to begin removing their tires.
If you’re hesitant to go out during the pandemic, or are suffering from a pre-existing health condition, don’t panic if you can’t get to The Mufflerman to have your tires removed. Having winter tires during the summer is not as big of a safety issue as driving in the winter without them says Brian Patterson, the CEO of the Ontario Safety League.
The biggest piece of advice that Patterson offers is do not try and remove your winter tires at home. This can be a costly and dangerous mistake. Each year, there are dozens of accidents in Canada caused by owners trying to change their winter tires on their own.
Although changing winter tires is a relatively simple process, you need to be knowledgeable on the mechanics and physics of the vehicle in order to do it safely. This means making sure the lug nuts are properly tightened – and having the lug nuts retorqued.
If you’re in need of a tire swap, contact your local Mufflerman today. We proudly serve London, Chatham, Sarnia, St.Thomas, Strathroy, Woodstock, Stratford, Brantford, Kitchener and Cambridge. We’ve implemented a breadth of procedures and policies to ensure the safety and wellbeing of you — our valued customers and community. To learn more, click here.
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Insurance companies in Ontario offer something called a Winter Tire Discount, offering drivers up to 5% off their annual auto insurance rate by installing winter tires on their vehicle.