By Marco Madron
Winter is on its way and it’s imperative that a car is equipped with a set of winter tires. Winter tires have an edge over all-seasons and all-weathers.
Darin De Prato, shop foreman at Sherwood Honda, said it’s important to use the tire best suitable for the current season.
“The edge that winter tires have comes from a softer compound and a larger amount of sipes. Sipes are cuts in the tread blocks of the tire that allow for more flexibility. This combined with the softer compound allows for more grip in cold temperatures,” said De Prato.
Tires are not the only thing to be looked at during winter prep.
“Often overlooked by people is the [cars] charging system, whether that be the drive belt, alternator or starter. And most importantly, the battery. An engine that has been outside in -25 C is much harder to turn and an older or discharged battery is more likely to freeze. The chemical reaction from the battery won’t be as strong which will require a boost or an entirely new battery,” De Prato said.
De Prato also emphasizes the importance of having a car inspected by a trusted and/or certified mechanic. Having a car inspected to see if there are any problems is important for maintaining it and lowering the chances of being stranded in the cold.
It’s also important to be prepared for the unexpected. Cars break down for many reasons so keep a winter safety kit in the interior of the car consisting of extra blankets, gloves, toques, or anything else that can be used to keep warm, snacks and a flashlight.