My vehicle is 4×4 or AWD, do I really need Winter tires?Oct 12nd, 2023
Finch Nissan's Service Tips & Tricks
While all-wheel drive (AWD) and four-wheel drive (4x4) vehicles offer improved traction and stability, especially on slippery surfaces, they do not eliminate the need for winter tires. AWD and 4x4 systems primarily help with acceleration and maintaining control on icy or snowy roads. However, here are some crucial points to consider:
1. Traction for Stopping
AWD and 4x4 systems primarily assist with moving forward. They don't necessarily improve your vehicle's ability to stop. Winter tires are specifically designed to enhance braking performance on snow and ice, reducing the distance needed to come to a halt. Without winter tires, you may still experience difficulty in stopping, which can lead to accidents.
2. Cornering and Handling
Winter tires are designed to provide better handling and grip in cold, slippery conditions. Even with AWD or 4x4, your vehicle's handling on snowy or icy roads can be significantly improved with winter tires. They offer better control when navigating turns and corners.
3. Compliance with Legal Requirements
In certain regions of Ontario, it's not just a matter of choice; it's a legal requirement to use winter tires during specific months. Even if your vehicle has AWD or 4x4, you may still need winter tires to comply with local regulations.
4. Insurance Discounts
Some insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who use winter tires during the winter months, irrespective of their vehicle's drivetrain. Using winter tires can potentially lead to cost savings on your insurance premiums.
5. Peace of Mind
Beyond the technical aspects, having winter tires provides peace of mind. You'll feel more confident when driving in challenging winter conditions, knowing that you've taken every precaution to enhance safety.
In summary, while AWD and 4x4 can certainly improve your vehicle's winter performance, they work best in combination with winter tires. Winter tires are designed to maximize your safety on snow and ice, offering better traction, control, and braking performance. Therefore, it's highly recommended to use winter tires on your AWD or 4x4 vehicle, especially in regions with harsh winter conditions like Ontario.