Time to install winter tires, prepare for winter driving

Temperatures now consistently 7°C or below, which is when CAA recommends winter tires be installed for improved traction and manoeuvrability


WITH temperatures now dipping below 7°C and snow in the forecast in some parts of the province, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) is reminding motorists that the time has come to install winter tires and prepare for winter driving.

“Many people think winter tires are only important when driving in snowy or icy conditions but they also help with handling, manoeuvrability and braking in cold weather,” said Kaitlynn Furse, public relations manager, CAA SCO. “Now is the time to install winter tires, test your battery, service your brakes and ensure all regular car maintenance is up to date. Preparing now means fewer surprises during the winter months.”

A recent CAA survey showed that about two-thirds of members in South Central Ontario have purchased winter tires for their vehicles. Close to 90 per cent of members who own winter tires, have them installed between late October to late November.


CAA SCO winter checklist:





  • Test your battery and replace it before it fails.
  • Have your brakes checked and/or serviced.
  • Install a set of four matching winter tires for better traction.
  • Check your lights to ensure they are working properly.
  • Replace worn or torn windshield wipers.
  • Pack a winter emergency kit.


Getting a grip on winter tires: 

  • Winter tires help reduce braking distance on cold, wet, ice and snow-covered roads.
  • Depending on the speed and the weather, the braking distance of winter tires can be up to 25 per cent shorter or two vehicle lengths compared to all-season tires.
  • Winter tires contain silica, a rubber compound that keeps tires flexible in cold temperatures and ensures excellent grip and braking on wet roads.
  • Winter tires should only be installed in sets of four. With only two winter tires, your vehicle’s handling, stability and braking are not fully optimized.
  • CAA Insurance policyholders save 5 per cent on their auto insurance premium when four winter tires are installed.
  • Drivers should check their tire pressure once a month. As the temperature drops so too does tire pressure. For every 5°C dip in the thermometer your tire pressure decreases 1 pound per square inch which results in reduced handling and control of your vehicle.


On an average winter day, CAA SCO dispatches service to approximately 3,000 members. During a snowstorm, the number of service calls usually doubles.


About CAA South Central Ontario

For over a hundred years, CAA has been helping Canadians stay mobile, safe and protected. CAA South Central Ontario is one of nine auto clubs across Canada providing roadside assistance, travel, insurance services and Member savings for our over 2 million members.