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It’s getting colder in Toronto, and that means winter is just around the corner. Here at Humberview Chevrolet Buick GMC we are ready to help you and your vehicle prepare for the icy and snowy roads with our winter tire store, specials, installation, and storage for your summer or all-season tires. Click here to learn more!

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Why Buy Winter Tires?

Winter tires are far superior on ice, snow and slush. They not only have aggressive tread patterns, but they’re made of softer rubber compounds that enhance grip when the temperature dips below 7˚C so you can stop 30% sooner than with all-season tires.

How can I find out the right tire size for my car?

If you have not had to buy a new set of tires before, you may be a bit confused while trying to figure out what size to get as vehicles require different widths, profile height, and rim diameters. When shopping for tires you will see something like this: 195/65R 15. That represents a type of code that will tell you everything you need to know about what size tire to get. Here’s how that breaks down:

  • 195 = the width of the tires you need, measured in milometers from the inner sidewall to the outer sidewall
  • 65R = the number indicates the aspect ratio, or profile height, of the tire, which is determined by dividing the height of the tire from the rim by the width. The letter R just refers to the common type of internal tire construction
  • 15 = the diameter of the rim, measured in inches, that the tire needs to be mounted on

Now that you have a better understanding of how tire measurements work, how can you find out what your tires need? There are a number of ways to look up your vehicle’s tire size:

  • The driver’s door — look for a label stuck on the interior frame of the door that will show the tire size
  • The inside of your gas hatch or glove box — not many vehicles have a label in these locations, but some still do
  • Your owner’s manual — will tell you the tire size or where on your car you can find the information
  • The sidewall of your current tires — it may be difficult to read if your tires are older and worn

If you have any problems or questions about how to find the right tire size for your vehicle, you can always call us or bring your vehicle in for help!

How does the winter tire insurance discount work?

As of January 1st, 2016, all car insurance companies in Ontario must offer a discount to drivers who have winter tires for their vehicle. How much of a discount, and how it works, will vary depending on what insurance company you are use — some offer a discount that is applied to your entire policy, but others apply it only to specific parts of it such as the collision coverage. In general, you can expect to receive a discount around 3 to 5 percent of your policy. If you want more information, you should contact your insurance provider.

Is it better to have winter tires on their own set of rims?

When you have two sets of tires for the colder and warmer seasons of the year, you can either have each set of tires on their own rims or have the tires themselves switched on and off the same rims. The main reason to use just one set of rims is because it is cheaper up front to buy new tires without rims. However, those initial savings you have up front are wiped out over time by other costs down the line:

  • Having separate rims for your winter tires helps extend the lifespan of the rims for your summer or all-season tires from the ice, snow, heavily salted roads during Toronto’s winters
  • It costs less to change tires with their own rims than it is to swap the tires between the same set of rims
  • Changing the tires on the same rims will wear both the tires and rims quicker

If you want to save on buying rims for your winter tires, you can look for a regular steel rim instead of an alloy set. That’s one of the reasons why you commonly see cars with different looking wheels in the winter.