11 per cent of Canadian drivers left winter tires on all year long, report shows
TORONTO -- Many Canadians had their cars parked during the spring and summer as they worked from home and self isolated due to the pandemic and many tire shops were closed.
A new survey by Kal Tire found that 11 per cent of drivers decided to just leave their winter tires on all year long.
“I was really surprised the number was the high,” said Usman Mir, Kal Tire zone manger for Southwestern Ontario.
However, if you leave winter tires on throughout the summer and drive on them in warm weather they can wear out much faster.
“Winter tires are designed for snow and ice and really rough conditions. When you leave them on in the summer and the pavements gets real hot, it's going to lead to premature wear," said Mir.
Most tires shops are able to change over tires now, but you may need to make an appointment and will have to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols.
That’s why CAA launched a pilot project to swap your tires right in your driveway.
The Sherriffs of Mississauga are CAA members and said when they got an email from CAA offering the service they decided to give it a try.
“I thought that's a great idea. You don't have to load the tires into the car, because at a certain age it can be hard to load tires," said Lesley Sherriff.
Her husband Richard Sherriff added, “It's very convenient because you basically take the tires out of your garage and put them on your driveway.”
CAA says for now it has launched the mobile tire swap program in the GTA and some cities across the province. The charge is $80 to $120 depending on the CAA membership.
CAA says 600 people have signed up for the service which comes to an end on December 4. It may bring the program back in the spring and next fall.
“We launched the service because many of our members realize they want at home service with the pandemic these days. This way they don’t have to go anywhere and they can still have the service done to their vehicle," said Tony Tsai with CAA Communications.
CTV News Toronto has done many tests on winter tires over the years and they do provide added grip on ice and snow. According to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada about 75 per cent of Canadian drivers now use winter tires.
If you are switching over your tires or left them on during the summer you'll want to check the tire pressure, the tread wear and if you have tire pressure monitoring you may need to reset the system.
There are winter tires you can leave on your car all year long that are called "all weather" tires. They're a hybrid of a winter and summer tire and they're a good option for people who mainly drive in the city and don't want two sets of tires.