Long story short, yes, you need winter tires on your Kia for the cold, winter season, as these snow tires are important for safe driving, performance and fuel efficiency during these dark months. Unlike all-season tires, winter tires are specifically made for the hazards that winter driving brings, including holding up in the cold temperatures, providing stable traction and helping to clear away snow and ice. Follow along with us at 401 Dixie Kia as we dive into exactly what makes winter tires so vital for the season.

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Why Drive on Winter Tires?

You’re constantly told that winter tires are needed in the season they’re named after, but rationalizing their extra price can sometimes be a lot if you don’t know all the ways they work to benefit you. In that case, we’re here to outline the specific advantages of winter tires so you can make an informed purchase and understand why they’re so vital for winter driving.

  • Rubber material: Like most materials, the cold likes to stiffen rubber, but the flexible rubber material that winter tires are made of is designed to be versatile and grip into the rough environment below.
  • Tread style: Treads on a winter tire may look a little funny, but their special design is all purposeful, helping to push away snow, ice and slush.
  • Tread depth: Deeper treads on a winter tire equal the better ability to dig into the road and material underneath, and works against snow from building up inside.
  • Biting edges: More sipes are present on winter tires, sipes being those tiny slits in the rubber material that help to provide superior traction.
Close-up of winter tire on vehicle in snow

Why Aren’t All-Season Tires Good Enough?

It’s right there in the name “all-season,” which must mean they’re good for any season, right? Not exactly, that’s a bit of a misleading name as all-season tires aren’t properly equipped to drive on both snow and ice. The intent of all-season tires is to hold up moderately well over a versatile number of environments, whether that be bare and wet roads, or light winter driving. Seeing that we live in a place such as Canada, and more specifically Mississauga, we’re known to often get hit hard during the winter, unlike more moderate climates who may be okay with all-season tire capabilities. Thus, with our extreme winter conditions comes the need for winter tires that are specifically designed and built for these tough road conditions.

When Should Winter Tires be Installed?

Just like winter tires are made specifically for winter time, that also means that they aren’t well-suited to summer time and warmer temperatures. Driving on winter tires in the summer can greatly increase the deterioration of its materials, and thus should only be installed at a certain time when the temperatures get chilly. As soon as the temperature consistently drops below 7℃ it’s time to get your winter tires installed. This is the temperature when winter tires are their most effective, and can begin to fully utilize its special design and material compounds. Conversely, once winter is firmly in your rearview mirror and the temperature starts to hover above 7℃ again, it’s time to swap off your winter tires for some summer tires.


Whether you need a new set of winter tires, or your own set swapped on, our 401 Dixie Kia service & parts departments can help you out. Contact us, today, and ensure your Kia is ready for anything winter throws your way.