Tire Basics

Frequently Asked Questions About Tires

Here at Stettler Dodge, we know that tires are one of the most important things when it comes to your vehicle. Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions about tires. If you think it's time to get new tires for your vehicle, do not hesitate to contact us!

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There are many factors that can cause tire wear, such as your driving style or maintenance habits. Tire replacement is absolutely needed when the tread wear indicators appear. Built-in tread wear indicators look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread and become visible as the tire surface wears.


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A quick and easy way to check tread depth is with a tread-depth gauge - these come in either digital or mechanical versions. If you don't have one, you can simply use a toonie. Put the outside edge of the toonie in your tire's tread.

1. If the tread reaches the bear's paws, your tires are probably pretty new.
2. If it reaches all the way across the silver, they're about 50% worn.
3. If your tire tread reaches only about half-way into the letters, it's time to shop for new tires.

Tread wear indicators appear when the tires only have 2/32" or less of tread remaining. Rubber in tires ages over time. Other warning signs include:

  • You can see three or more tread wear indicators around the tire.
  • The tire cord or fabric is showing through the rubber.
  • The tire tread or sidewall is cracked, cut, or snagged deep enough to show cord or fabric.
  • The tire has a bulge or a split.
  • The tire has a puncture, cut, or other damage that can't be repaired correctly.

Tires are rotated to achieve a uniform wear on all the tires. Each tire performs different tasks (such as steering in front vs. rear-wheel drive), therefore tires wear at different rates. Tires should be rotated every 8,000-12,000 kilometers, or every other oil change.It's important to rotate your tires according to the correct tire-rotation pattern. Doing this will prolong the life of your tires.

The main reason why people switch to winter tires during the cold and slippery conditions is primarily because of their performance during those treacherous conditions. But what makes them so good?

Their Specific Design: Most people with all-season tires often ask themselves why they should upgrade to winter tires. The truth is that you need them because winter tires are specifically designed for performance in not only low temperatures but also in slush, ice, and snow. Despite what the name says, all-season tires thrive in a wide range of driving conditions like light snow and wet roads, but their performance isn't that great during Canada's harsh winters.

Tread Pattern: Winter tires come with a particular tread pattern that is single directional, pushing the snow and ice out of the tire's path for maximum traction. Additionally, they have a deeper tread depth, which allows the tire to go deeper and find traction for optimum snowy road performance. On top of this, winter tires are manufactured using specified compounds to withstand extremely low temperatures. The treads on all-season tires are much closer to each other, making them ideal for pushing away water and gripping the road in autumn, spring, and summer.

Savings On Car Insurance: Apart from offering road safety for both your passengers and you, winter tires can also be used to save some money on your car insurance. In some cases, winter tires can save you up to 5% on the premiums you pay on your car insurance by just having all four tires switched out for winter tires.

Optimal Performance: When temperatures are below 7 celsius, all-season tires become hard and start to their grip. Winter tires will deliver better traction in that temperature range, but they should be swapped back once the temperature rises above 7 celsius.

Weather Conditions: All season tires are suitable for mild winter weather, slush, heavy rain, and light snow, while winter tires can be used in severe winter weather, heavy snow, and ice.

Tread Pattern: The pattern on all-season tires includes traction edges, slotted shoulders, and sipes. However, the winter tires pattern features a unidirectional design that is open and has sipes and v-grooves for maximum traction.

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