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Is it time for winter tires? What you can do to get your vehicle ready for the season

Is it time for winter tires? Tips on getting your vehicle winter ready.
With winter weather soon approaching and seasonal temperatures dropping, experts say now is a good time to give your car a tune-up.

After a late October dose of wintry weather and with seasonal temperatures consistently dropping, now is the time many people start getting their vehicles ready for the changing season.

“Once we get a bit of snow it is like a reminder of what is on the way,” said Matt Currie, manager and co-owner of Currie Tire LTD., in Peterborough. “The phone has been ringing non-stop.”

And it isn’t only tires. Mechanic at Currie Tire LTD., Matt English, said it is a good idea to give your car a seasonal tune-up.

“It is a good idea to check out the belts, hoses, your battery and make sure all of the fluids are topped up,” English said. “Just to make sure you don’t get stuck out in the cold.”

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English says you should examine the wear on your tires, to make sure they will still grip the road in poor weather conditions.

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“You’re looking for tread depth, which is how much meat is still on the tire,” he said. “And you’re looking for even wear all the way across.”

English said if the tire is worn down, it won’t give you much traction in wet and especially snowy conditions.

An all-season tire will have a more linear tread pattern and the tread on a winter tire angles out.

“The main benefit of the winter tread pattern is that it is going to get the sleet, slush and snow out of the tread,” said Currie.

He said winter tires are made of a softer rubber compound that is able to get a better grip on the road. They perform best when the temperature drops to 7 C or lower. Currie said to make sure to take your winter tires off when the season is over or they will wear quickly in the warmer conditions.

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Currie said the type of tire you have should reflect the amount and type of driving you do. He said some insurance companies may even offer discounts if you opt for a winter tire.