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Living in Canada we focus a lot on winter tires, protecting ourselves and our cars before the snow flies. Yet how many of us give the same attention to our summer tires? The average lifespan of a tire is 5 years, after that the rubber becomes hard and it loses it’s tread. It is vital to know what to look for purchasing a set for your vehicle. In this article we are going to look at the important points to consider when choosing the right tires for the summer season.


Three things to considering before purchasing tires are:

  1. Where you are driving.
  2. What the weather conditions are where you are.
  3. What your personal driving style preference is.

For lots of city driving you want tires that have optimum braking distance on both wet and dry roads. You also want tires with longevity as city driving contains lots of starting and stopping. For highway driving you want tires with optimum braking distance at high speeds in both wet and dry conditions. You also want to look at tires that provide comfort in both vibration and noise level for the long drives. As well as excellent grip and stability. If you often drive on unpaved surfaces or enjoying taking your vehicle off-roading you want a tire that provides off road traction and has great durability.

Most vehicles today come with what is called an all season tire, although this name can be a bit misleading. They can be used all seasons if you live in a climate that experiences mild winters with very light snow. All seasons will not perform well when temperatures drop below minus 5 Celsius or in snow and ice. They are a good option for taking off your winter tires and moving to summer season tires. Designed to provide acceptable all-around capability on wet roads and when the temperatures climb and it is extremely hot out. They are like a hybrid of summer and winter tires. All seasons are able to handle a wide range of road and weather conditions moderately well. All seasons provide a smooth, quiet ride and have great fuel efficiency and tread life.

Summer tires or “regular tires” are similar to all seasons but can definitely not handle cold temperatures or snow. Their rubber hardens when the temperature dips below freezing making them not safe for winter driving. They provide excellent wet road traction for summer storms and spring showers.


There are other options besides summer or all season tires but these are usually for a specialty vehicle. One option is performance tires that are typically used for sports cars. They are for people that value speed and performance. These tires harness ever ounce of your engine’s horsepower and grip the road like race tires. They don’t tend to last as long as other tires as the tread wears quickly. If you have a sports car that is not your primary vehicle and want a tire that will showcase the speed of your sports car than these are the right option.

Another alternative tire is the all-terrain tire. If you have a vehicle that you take off-roading then you will want a tire that can handle multiple surfaces like mud, sand and rocks. These are larger tires that are able to tackle rough and uneven terrain. They also perform well on paved highways and roads offering comfort and handling. Mud-terrain tires are the more hard core version off all terrain. Designed with deep, rugged treads that allow your vehicle to get solid traction on soft surfaces like deep mud and sand. These tires are amazing for off-roading but on paved roads are not not as smooth, quiet or comfortable as all-terrain tires.

Regardless of what type of tire you decide on, or if you buy new or used the most important thing is to look at the year of the tire. You can see the year on the side of the tire. It will be the last four numbers in a line of letters and numbers. The first two digits represent the week that the tires were made. It will be a number between 1-52. The next two digits will be the year that the tires are made in. For example 3318 would be made in the 33rd week of the year in 2018. Be cautious when buying used tires. Less than honest people have been known to paint and polish used tires causing them to appear as new. Looking for this number will ensure that you are not buying tires that are more than five years old.

Tires are often a forgotten part of the vehicle yet are one the most important safety elements of your car. Weather cracks and worn treads can cause serious accidents. By checking the tires each time you get an oil change you can potentially save your life. First Gear Automotive is available for all of your tire needs, from helping choose the right tire for your car to ordering from a trusted company to installing and balancing your tires. Book your appointment today.