When Should You Remove Winter Tires?

By: Brenden Somerville   |   25 Jan 2017
Clock with snow
Winter Tires - Rules are Different in Ontario


So, what are the rules around winter tires?

Although it’s been the law in Quebec since 2008, winter tires aren’t actually mandatory in the province of Ontario. There has been talk for quite some time about passing a law that requires drivers, especially city workers like taxi drivers and bus drivers to install winter tires, but if you choose to pass you won’t be penalized--unless you cause an accident.

With that being said, those of us who do take safety seriously and install winter tires might be wondering when the best time is to take them off. In the past, we’ve seen winters that rarely get any snow and you might be thinking, “what a waste”! On the other hand, we’ve all woken up to at least a foot of snow at some point in our lives and mentally thanked the salesperson who talked us into purchasing a set of winter tires. Although spring in Canada is officially on March 20th, some drivers might mistake the warmer temperatures and melting snow as a sure sign to swap tires. If you make frequent deliveries between Quebec and Ontario, you might want to verify requirements before you go.

Here’s what you need to know before you make the switch back to summer or all-season tires.

Check The Weather

Quebec’s winter tire laws mandate that you must keep your winter tires on from November 1st through until April 15th. Like we said, Ontario doesn’t require such a law, but it’s interesting that Quebec’s law means your winter tires must stay on for three weeks after the first day of spring. Much like swimming in the summertime, you wouldn’t jump into Lake Ontario on the first day of summer, June 21st, because the waters still haven’t fully warmed up. Driving on spring roads is much the same. In March, it’s not uncommon for nightly temperatures to still dip below zero degrees. It’s also not uncommon to see heavy rainfall or wet snow. When you combine these two factors, you’re still at risk of the roads having a thin layer of ice form on the surface, and without those winter tires, you’re in trouble.

Truck drivers should keep their winter tires on at least until April when the night temperatures no longer reach sub-zero. Spring time is still a risky time because the weather can play tricks on you. Wait until warmer days to bring your all-season tires back.

Find Proper Tire Storage

Before you remove your winter tires, you’ll need to make sure you have a place to store them until next year.

Winter tires for your truck tend to cost a bit more, and careless storage could mean they’ll be no good for next winter. It’s important to purchase a durable tire bag for each of your four winter tires--don’t just buy two and place them in between your tires. Stack your tires carefully once they are wrapped in the bags and make sure they are away from any water or substances that could cause damage. Always store your tires in a cool, dry place to preserve their air pressure and to prevent rubber from cracking or becoming damaged. Contact Somerville Hino's Service Department to learn more about storing your winter tires.

Remember, winter tires are to be used as a preventative measure in the winter months to keep you safe from dangerous road conditions. Once the weather is suitable to make the switch back to all-season or summer tires, it’s important that you do so. Using your winter tires on dry or warmer pavement defeats their purpose and can actually damage them since they were designed to grip ice and snow.

Do you need a hand with winter tire installation, or still need to buy a set? Give us a call at 1-(877) 650-6296 or contact us online.


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