You have questions...we have answers!  Here are some common questions related to winter tires in Canada.

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Winter Tire FAQ for Ottawa, Canada

In temperatures below 7° Celsius, you need winter tires. At precisely 7° Celsius, the superior adhesion of winter tires begins to make a difference, regardless of road or weather conditions. With their specifically formulated rubber compounds, winter tires reduce vehicle stopping distances by up to 25% – performance that can make the difference between a close call and calling for a tow.
It’s ideal to have your winter tires installed when temperatures dip below 7 degrees Celsius and before the first snow fall. This will keep you prepared and safe on those cold fall mornings and help you beat the rush that happens during the first storm of the year.
Keep in mind that temporary warm-ups do not guarantee the end of winter driving. In Ottawa and much of Eastern, Central, and Northern Ontario, it's not unheard of to experience snowfalls in April and May. It’s always advised those looking to prematurely change back to their all-season tires to remember why they purchased winter tires in the first place - safe and confident driving. When the daily low temperatures are consistently above 7 degrees Celcius each night and the long-term forecast shows no threat of heavy snowfall, all-season tires can be installed back onto your vehicle.
All-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles are great assets and they are very valuable in adverse driving conditions. They can assist in acceleration, even in wintry driving. Without winter tires, braking and turning, can be just as dangerous for all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles as it is for a two-wheel drive vehicles. All-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles can be very useful, but are even more effective when combined with winter tires.
Front wheel drive is certainly an advantage, but its advantage can be multiplied by using winter tires designed for the road conditions you'll encounter. Part of a front wheel drive vehicle's acceleration advantage is because it has 60% of its weight over the drive wheels. And while this helps you get started, it does nothing to help you stop. And a front wheel drive vehicle's weight distribution is not the best for handling and cornering. Many of the reasons that encouraged you to select a front wheel drive vehicle are the same reasons that dedicated winter tires will make your winter driving more enjoyable and enhance your car's braking, handling, and cornering traits.
There's a common misconception that two winter tires, either on the front or back depending on drive configuration, are sufficient to maintain control when the temperature falls. The fact is that tire and vehicle manufacturers collectively recommend that drivers install winter tires at all four corners so that more rubber is in contact with the road at all times. This simple application of physics, known as co-efficient of friction, helps to ensure maximum traction in snow, on ice, and on roads affected by winter conditions.
You can, but it's not a good idea. Winter tires tend to be noisier; they are also made with softer compounds which means they will wear out faster, especially in warm weather. Wear is critical because winter tires rely on their deep tread to dig into snow and ice. As soon as the snow is gone for good, remove your snow tires and reinstall your all-season tires.
The terms “winter tire“ and “snow tire“ are often used interchangeably, but “snow tire“ is not really an accurate name. It implies that winter tires are exclusively for snow, and that is false. Winter tires are engineered to perform better than all-season and summer tires in all winter conditions, not just snow and ice. All-season and summer tires begin to lose traction as the temperatures drop. This means that at 7 degrees Celsius and below, winter tires offer better traction that allow for safer braking and accelerating. For these reasons, the preferred term is “winter tires.”
Look for tires that are the equivalent to the originals in size, quality, and performance. Refer to your original tire for proper size, check the OEM Tire & Loading Information sticker on your vehicle's driver's side b-pillar, or check your owner’s manual. Failure to use manufacturer-recommended replacement tires might adversely affect the safety, handling, and ride of your vehicle. Also, you should be aware that replacing original tires with a different size might result in false speedometer and odometer readings. If you have any questions regarding tire specifications or capability, contact your dealer before you buy new ones.
While it may feel like an extra purchase, buying winter tires can actually save you money in the long-run. Using winter tires allows you to preserve the life of your summer or all-season tires, because tires do not wear out while they are stored in the garage. With proper use and maintenance, winter tires can last multiple winters, which is more time that you are preserving your warm-weather tires. This means your all-season tires have more tread life for the rest of the year and that saves you money. Winter tires and wheels may be one of the most economical purchases you can make.
Rotating your tires based on the schedule presented in your owner’s manual is very important. The front tires on your vehicle wear differently and more quickly than the rear tires – especially if it is a front-wheel drive. Rotating tires from front to rear several times during their lifecycle will:
  • Help to equalize tread wear
  • Provide an opportunity to inspect your tires for any damage
  • Ensure that you maximize the life of all 4 tires
There are several different acceptable methods for rotating your tires based on the set-up of your vehicle:
  • Staggered wheels (front and rear tires are different sizes)
  • Unidirectional tires (tires specific to one side of the car)
  • Asymmetrical tires (tread pattern changes from inside to outside of the tire)
Typically, tire pressure should be checked at least once a month as tires that are not properly inflated can compromise both the handling and safety of your vehicle.
If your tire pressure is too high, your tires are over-inflated and have less contact with the road. This gives you less grip, traction and power, and increases your effective stopping distance. Over-inflation also increases tire wear in the centre portion of the tread and exposes your tires to damage from objects on the road and potholes. Your ride won’t be nearly as comfortable either, because your tires will be “bouncing” on the road.
If your tires are under-inflated, too much of your tire is in contact with the road. This makes your tire hot and may result in overheating. In the worst-case scenario, this may cause tire failure. Under-inflation also increases tire wear on the tread at the edges and decreases your fuel economy.
Your recommended tire pressure is located on a sticker in the driver’s door jamb or fuel-filler door. This is the ideal pressure for the tires used on your specific model vehicle. The pressure indicated on your tire wall is the maximum allowable tire pressure, not the recommended pressure. If you are having problems with maintaining tire pressure or if you notice any unusual or uneven wear or damage to your tires, contact us as soon as possible.
Possibly. The important thing is to make sure your tires are properly inflated, which does improve gas mileage. If you already check your tire pressure regularly, you probably don’t need nitrogen in your tires. The added benefit of nitrogen is that it contains no moisture, which is present with a standard air fill. The absence of moisture provides a more stable pressure resulting in tires that are properly inflated longer. So, if you’re not in the habit of monitoring your tire pressure once a month and you are driving around with under-inflated tires, then yes, nitrogen may help improve your gas mileage. Remember, whatever type of tire fill you choose, be it air or nitrogen, tire pressures should be checked every month as outlined in your scheduled maintenance booklet. The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is listed on the tire pressure label located on the driver’s door pillar.

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The Ottawa Discount Tire Store was created to save you money on your next tire or wheel/rim purchase. We have the best deals on tires in Ottawa with a 100% guarantee that you are happy with your purchase. Let us save you money on brand name tires. Find the tires you need for your car and driving needs at an affordable price. Once you have found the tire that best suits your needs and budget, simply book an appointment online with our service department. We will contact you without delay to confirm the details of your visit.

The Ottawa Discount Tire Store has the tires and wheels/rims you'll need for the performance you want on all the terrains that you'll encounter. We have all the high performance tires, all-season tires, winter tires, all-terrain tires, and off-roading tires you will need for your driving needs. We specialize in tires that fit Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat, Ford, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Subaru, VW, Nissan, Kia, and Cadillac vehicles. The Ottawa Discount Tire Store stocks name brand tires such as Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter, Michelin Latitude, Laufenn I Fit Ice, Bridgestone Blizzak, Yokohama iceGuard, Pirelli Winter Ice Zero, BF Goodrich Winter TA, Kumho I'Zen at affordable low prices.

The Ottawa Discount Tire is also home of the original Lowest Price Guarantee. Our lowest price guarantee means that your get the best price possible on your next set of tires or we give you $100!

Not sure where to store your all-season tires in the winter and winter tires in the summer? Let the professionals at the Ottawa Discount Tire Store take care of things and remove the headache of loading and unloading your car with tires and rims. FREE tire storage is available in the Nation's Capital at Ottawa Dodge Chrysler Jeep Headquarters located at the corner of St. Laurent Blvd and McArthur Ave, just North of the Queensway, conveniently between Orleans and Kanata.

Leave your winter or summer tires with us and we'll install them for you when it's time. It's another reason why people choose and trust the experts at Ottawa Dodge's Discount Tire Store.
From tires for the highway to tires for rugged terrain to tires for the racetrack and everything in between - the Ottawa Discount Tire Store has what you're looking for.