With only a few months to go before ‘old man winter’ returns once again, many Volkswagen owners are already starting to inquire about winter wheel and tire packages at our service counter. For those of us that have had the experience of driving in cold, slippery, snowy conditions with winter tires vs. ‘all-season tires’, the answer is usually pretty clear and can be demonstrated by the lack of ‘white knuckles’ clenching the steering wheel as you go about your daily commutes.
This debate is usually with ones self, the ability to justify and rationalize the initial expense of purchasing another complete set of tires just for the winter season. The sticker shock of most quality winter tires may cause you to quickly think back to your last service visit at Georgetown Volkswagen, where the friendly service staff reviewed a ‘Vehicle Condition Report’ with you and happily pointed out that your current tires are in excellent condition. Armed with this information and thinking back on the amount of snowfall we’ve had in Ontario over the last couple of years, you might be tempted at this point to try and get away with ‘just one more season’ without them.
The increasingly diminishing belief that all-season tires are effective on snow and ice is one of the most dangerous misconceptions about winter driving. Tire experts and driving instructors often refer to them as “no-season tires” since they are a compromise at best. Before the snow starts to fly, here are a few things to consider before deciding on whether or not to pursue that winter wheel and tire package this year:
- At temperatures below 7°C, summer tires become hard and are less able to ‘key’ into the road surface; grip to the road begins to suffer even without the presence of accumulated snow.
- Winter tires are made from a special tread compound which stays more flexible in cold conditions; this is so the tire can lock into the peaks and troughs of the road surface providing better grip. Winter tires feature small grooves or sipes which provide better overall grip in wet, icy or snowy conditions.
- A recent study conducted by the Quebec Ministry of Transport showed that a proper winter tire can improve braking up to 25 per cent over an all-season radial tire, and can improve collision avoidance by approximately 38 per cent.
- More stability, better cornering and the ability to get your Volkswagen up to speed more quickly contributes toward an overall safer driving experience.
- Spinning your tires excessively at intersections is not only hard on your all-season tires and can wear them out prematurely, but it also wastes energy thus using more expensive fuel. Using winter tires can actually save you money at the pumps!
- Save money on auto insurance. Most insurance companies now offer their clients a discount for using winter tires during the winter season. Your monthly savings could be just a phone call away!
- Not just any old wheel! A proper fitting winter wheel and tire package for your Volkswagen just might be more affordable than you think! The Parts & Service department at Georgetown Volkswagen work hard every year to put together quality, affordable winter wheel and tire packages that fit your Volkswagen just right.
- Convenience! No room at the house or condo to store your summer wheels? No problem, ask us to store them for you and they’ll be here, ready to be re-install when you are.
Still not convinced? We found a neat little demonstration video from Volkswagen using a VW Golf to demonstrate some of the many advantages of winter tires vs. all-season tires in cold weather conditions.
* For more information, advice or to reserve a winter wheel and tire package today, please contact our Parts & Service staff at: 905-877-5285 or toll-free at: 866-877-5285. We’re also available by email (link) right now. Here’s to safe motoring!
Mike Stafford, Service Advisor
Georgetown Volkswagen is the home of the best customer service, serving the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) from Georgetown, Ontario, Canada.