Winter is Coming – Winter Tires and Rims for Safety Sake

As the days become shorter and the air chillier it signals the time of year to change your tires from All-season to Winter tires.   Even though All-Season implies that they can handle all four seasons they really do come up short in the winter.  Winter/Ice tires are specifically designed with grooved tread patterns and softer rubber compounds for better traction in ice and snow.

I have experienced the difference a good winter tire makes when trying to get away from a stop sign or trying to steer on icy and slushy roads. They have kept me out of the ditch many times and probably have saved a few accidents.

If you are concerned about the expense, I reason that avoiding one accident or staying out of the ditch will offset the expense.  It may even save your life.

Another point is that you will likely have the car for at least 100,000 km’s which will require you to buy another set of tires when your all-seasons wear out.  Why not buy winter tires for the winter season which lasts 6 months here in Ontario? (sad face)

New tires and rims are the best option because you have full life of the tire and you don’t know how the used tires and rims were cared for.

Most new tire and rim packages go for $1100 or less depending on the size and make of tire.  Trucks and Suv’s are more expensive because of the bigger tire size.

If you can’t afford new tires, then used are better than all-seasons.  If you choose to go the used route a good source to find them is here on Kijiji.   You may also find a tire store or wrecking yard that has used winter tires and rims.

Tips for Buying Used Tires and Rims.

1. Identify the tire size of your all-season tires.  It will be on the side wall of the tire and look like this 225/60/16.

2. Search for tires and rims that are coming off your Year Make and Model of vehicle. Sometimes the tire and rim size are not the same as the all-season size that are on your car. Many times, winter tires are a smaller diameter (16”) rather than the all-seasons (17”).  This is for better traction and for cost savings.  You will want to check to make sure the smaller size is compatible with your vehicle.  Either call your local dealer or contact us here at Legacy Auto Credit for assistance.

3. Check tire tread.  Make sure they still have lots of life left.  Run your hand over the tread and feel for uneven wear or cupping.  The tread should look like it is wearing evenly across the tire.

4. Check for cracks, Tears and bulges.  Visually inspect the tire and look for defects.

5. Inspect the rims for dents and excessive rust.

Depending on the condition of the used tires and rims they will typically range from $250-$750.

Tires can be complicated so here is a good resource for addition information on winter tires.  You can also contact your local tire store, mechanic or dealership for assistance.

Winter driving can be dangerous.  Be safe out there.