Consumerwatch: Winter tires
Published Monday, November 19, 2012 11:18AM CST
Last Updated Monday, November 19, 2012 2:51PM CST
As winter settles in for the season in Winnipeg, drivers are flocking to garages to get winter tires put on. Others, though, are happy with all-season tires.
That, according to driving expert Dane Wilson, is risky.
With winter tires “you have better stopping distance, better traction, better steering control,” said Wilson.
CTV Winnipeg put that idea to the test and had two vehicles – one outfitted with all season tires and the other with winter tires – try to stop from speeds of 50 kilometres per hour on an old airstrip near St. Andrews.
The car with all-season tires slid about 10 metres past where the vehicle with winter tires stopped.
Wilson said there’s a reason for that.
“The winter tire has a softer rubber, that gives you more traction in severe weather,” said Wilson.
Garry Talling is the service manager at the Canadian Tire on Regent Avenue. He said the shape of the tire also helps.
“The deep channel grooves will move the snow and ice out of the tire,” said Talling.
But those features come at a cost. Talling said drivers should expect to pay $450 to $600 for a set of new winter tires. The price range largely depends on what make, model and suspension your vehicle has, according to Talling.
Despite the extra cost, Wilson said the tires are an important safety feature. He would like to see them be mandatory in Manitoba, like they are in Quebec.
“It could cut down on fatalities, people going off the road, rear-end collisions. It’s all going to add up,” said Wilson. “I really think the government should look seriously at mandating winter tires.”
Provincial officials said while they encourage all Manitobans to buy winter tires, they have no plans to introduce mandatory winter tire legislation.
Consumer Reports list of recommended winter tires:
Michelin X-Ice Xi3 and Michelin X-Ice Xi2- $120-$125
Hankook i*cept - $90
Pirelli Winter 210 Sottozero Serie II - $116
Uniroyal tiger Paw - $99
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 - $114