Questions About Winter Tires? I Have Answers.


“Are you sure we need winter tires this year?” my mom asked. “We’re retired. We don’t have to venture out when it snows. We can just stay indoors.”

“My all-season tires are brand new!” my friend lamented. “The tread is fine, trust me.”

“There’s no way I can afford winter tires,” another friend confided. “With the cost of gas, insurance and car payments, I can hardly afford to drive!”

Sound familiar? You may even see your own situation in the answers above. And so rather than lecture you (I’d never do that!) on the importance of winter tires, I’m just here to answer your questions.
20170114_100609a“Are you sure we need winter tires, even if we don’t venture out?”

You probably don’t need winter tires if you *never* have to leave your house when it snows, like, ever. (Frankly, even that is a misconception – winter tires actually begin to work their magic the minute the temperature falls below 7° Celsius.) But what about when you’re already out and it begins to snow? Freshly fallen snow on the roads – before the salt trucks can do their thing – can present dangerous driving hazards. So unless you’re a meteorologist (or are obsessive about checking your local weather channel), chances are you may be faced with inclement driving conditions.

And, do you ever have to leave to pick up a child or grandchild? Go to the doctor or the hospital? Run out for a bag of sugar? You know, those things you don’t plan for, but necessitate leaving the house? Yeah, that happens to me too, which is why I’d rather have the added safety of winter tires. 

“My all-season tires are fine for winter. They’re brand new!”

Myth. It’s a myth that all-season tires are adequate in winter. You can read my previous post here, but long story short: while all-season tires are meant to keep you safe in occasional, transitional weather conditions, you need winter tires to safely ride through our Canadian winters. The unique tread compounds of winter tires allow them to remain more flexible in colder temperatures, providing better traction than all-season tires. All-season tires are less flexible and less effective when the temperature drops consistently below freezing, and especially when precipitation is added to the mix.

“There’s no way I can afford winter tires.”

But you *can* afford gas, insurance and car payments. Why? Because they’re necessary to drive a car. Adding winter tires to the cost of operating your vehicle is simply an adjustment in attitude; you have to believe that there is no price too high when it comes to winter road safety for yourself and others.

“Okay, but I don’t even know where to start.”

Start with Michelin X-Ice Xi3 and Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 tires.
20170114_100916aThe Michelin X-Ice Xi3 tire provides ultimate winter confidence over many kilometres, enabling you and your loved ones to fully embrace winter even in the harshest conditions. Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 tires are designed to help Crossovers and Sport Utility Vehicles hold the road in a variety of wintery conditions. Since we own an SUV, our car is outfitted with Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 tires.

“Why should I consider this tire?”

Michelin says it best: Cold weather driving mastery for your SUV or crossover vehicle.

Look, we own a big SUV, but I’m not one of those jerks who thinks she owns the road (and we all know one of those people, don’t we?). I understand that my driving expertise can only go so far in winter road conditions, so I depend on the quality and reputation of Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 tire to help keep my family safe.

The tires feature a wide tread contact patch which generates acceleration and braking power (essential on snow and ice), as well as cornering traction for outstanding winter manoeuvering. The special Flex-Ice compound is formulated to maintain its flexibility under the most extreme cold weather conditions, including snow, slush, ice, and wet and dry pavement.

And here’s something that’s found in both the X-Ice Xi2 and X-Ice Xi3 tires: Michelin uses Cross Z-Sipes Technology which creates a special 3-D design that locks the sipes in place. Combined with micro-pumps, they provide improved stability in all winter conditions. And because the sipes and micro-pumps are full-depth, their grip lasts winter after winter.

“What the heck are sipes?”

Siping is the process of cutting thin slits across a rubber surface to improve traction in wet or icy conditions. So, when the tread makes contact with pavement, multiple parallel cuts allow the tread to flex, bringing jagged edges into contact with the snow or ice. This extra grip greatly increases the tread’s contact with the ground and allows the diamond-shaped edges to bite (or grip, pull, hook) into the snow.

(Think your all-season tires can do this? Think again.)

“Do the tires allow for a comfortable ride?”

Yes! Thanks to Michelin Comfort Control Technology, you’ll feel like you’re in the lap of luxury. Michelin uses computer-optimized design and precision manufacturing to offer greatly reduced vibrations and road noise, plus the longevity you expect from Michelin.

“Okay, talk to me about price and warranties.”

No problem. Retail price is typically dependent upon which dealership you’re purchasing the tires at, but the cost can also vary based on the rim dimension, with a 17” generally being less expensive than a 20”. The Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 is available in rim sizes from 15” to 20”, and MSRP base price per tire ranges from $150 – $425 respectively.

See? Much more affordable than you thought. But here’s the really important thing to note – with every Michelin tire purchase, you’ll also receive the Michelin Promise Plan. This includes:

– 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee
– 3-Year Flat Tire Changing Assistance
– Limited Mileage Warranty

The Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 tires carry a 60,000 kilometer limited warranty in addition to the standard materials and workmanship warranty for treadwear or mileage.

“Have you driven with the tires in freezing rain?”

Yes, we have. And they took my sons safely to school while school buses were cancelled due to inclement weather conditions.
20170117_083346 (1)a“Where can I find more information?”

I thought you’d never ask. Visit Michelin.ca for more information on Michelin X-Ice Xi3 and Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 tires. For winter driving tips, visit michelinwintercenter.com.

This post is sponsored by Michelin Canada as part of the #EmbracetheRoad campaign. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.