Service Lesson:

Winter Tires vs. All-Season Tires

What does "all-season" really mean?

It's time to talk about how misleading the name "all-season tires" can be.

It seems that whoever gave "all-season tires" their name wasn't a resident of Edmonton, Alberta.

A good set of all-season tires can be expected to do incredibly well in rainy conditions and on bare pavement year-round, while offering some traction in light snow and the occasional winter storm. Unfortunately, Canadian winters typically bring far more treacherous conditions, and all-season tires are not equipped for deep snow, icy roads, and prolonged cold weather.

  

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Tread

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Winter Tires

The tread of winter tires is designed to be deep, wide, and jagged. These features allow the tire to grip snow, slush, and ice effectively. 

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All-Season Tires

 The tread of all-season tires consist of shallower grooves, which allow for comfort and control in most normal road conditions. 

Rubber

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Winter Tires

Winter tires are designed with rubber that remains flexible in low and freezing temperatures, allowing for increased control during prolonged winter conditions. Unfortunately, the rubber compound used in winter tires is not designed to withstand hot summer temperatures. As a result, drivers who use their winter tires in the summer can expect to see a significantly diminished tread life on their tires.

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All-Season Tires

All-season tires are comprised of a rubber compound intended to maximize the life of the tire across standard road conditions. Freezing temperatures are not considered “standard”, and the tread compound of an all-season tire will therefore stiffen in such conditions.  

Siping

What’s siping? Let us explain.

Siping is the process of cutting thing slits across the surface of a tire to improve traction for driving in snowy, wet, or icy conditions. Siped tires typically provide better traction, improved braking, and a smoother ride. Siping can also be used to prolong the life of a tire, as it reduces friction heat through increased heat dispersal.

Tires will be sold already siped. Do not attempt to implement siping on your own tires – you can do serious damage to your tires by attempting to do so. Talk to a professional from Toyota on the Trail’s service department to learn more.

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Winter Tires

Siping on winter tires is maximized in order to gain increased traction during icy winter conditions. Although siping typically allows for better dispersion of heat, siping in winter tires does not allow for longevity in warm conditions. 

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All-Season Tires

Siping in all-season tires is designed to provide some traction in rainy and wet conditions. and is used to dissapate heat, thereby making the tires last longer. 

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Ultimately, winter tires are designed to brave the treacherous winters of Edmonton, Alberta. All-season tires might be acceptable for other parts of the world, but Alberta's winters are simply in a league of their own. 

Interested in picking up a new set of winter tires for the upcoming snowfall? 

Visit the Toyota on the Trail service department today, or book an appointment to claim your spot during the winter tire rush!

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