The Debate of Winter Tires Versus Other Options

Imagine driving when a snowstorm is forecast, and you know there will be heavy traffic. Are you panicking? Your all-season tires are great for wet terrain; however, winter tires really are better for Ontario winters. Your peace of mind and your and other drivers’ safety are vital during winter driving.

The Clear Benefits of Winter Tires

As London Ontario’s tire experts during our thirty-five years, we’ve seen tire manufacturers refine their winter tires for our Canadian climate. Constant sudden stops at city intersections, accelerated freezes and snowfalls are handled far better with the tread and rubber of a winter tire than the more shallow tread and harder rubber of all-weather (all-season) tires. 

Tire grip is essential in slush and snow; lane changes, braking, and acceleration without winter tires are, at best, unpredictable. Travelling at highway speeds alongside other drivers who may (or may not) have winter tires increases the need for reliable tires that allow you to react timely if conditions require it.

Snow tires’ aggressive tread channels water out from under them so you aren’t riding on top of the slush or rain (hydroplaning). The unique formulation of the rubber keeps it soft and supple and allows it to stick to snow or road. It also grips better in colder temperatures than all-season tires.

Perhaps you feel you don’t need winter tires for these reasons:

You have all-season tires. 
However, all-season tires are not winter tires.

The stiff rubber of summer tires hardens too easily in the winter, and the soft rubber of winter tires wears too quickly during the summer, so all-season tires were created as a compromise. However, the rubber used to manufacture all-season tires won’t grip the snow in the same way as winter tires.  

You have an all-wheel drive (AWD) or 4WD vehicle. 
An AWD vehicle sends traction engagement to two wheels when required; however, it does not replace the need for winter tires. 

All-wheel-drive does not make your car brake faster than a two-wheel-drive vehicle and makes no difference if the tires aren’t gripping the road or the snow. You need tires that will grip to brake correctly. 4WD vehicles focus on the off-roading qualities where all four tires have similar traction at once. 

You have anti-lock brakes (ABS). 
ABS and other vehicle safety features help keep your car from sliding on wet surfaces; however, ABS does not replace the need for winter tires.

ABS brakes are designed to keep your brakes pumping. Press down on the brakes and do not release your foot in order for your ABS to engage. However, ABS cannot make your tires grip the pavement.


We encourage our customers to beat the snow and switch to new winter tires in early October. 

Fall is the best time to ready your vehicle for the winter season, and you can request any of our Services here. 

As well as changing to winter tires, we recommend several upkeeps before the snow arrives. Please read our ‘Fall Car Maintenance Mainstays’ article to learn more about servicing your car before winter.

Our seasonal TIRE OFFERS make your choice even easier.

Hanford’s Tire & Service has the best selection of performance-rated winter tires available. No matter your budgetary needs, we’re happy to advise you to ensure you have the best tires for the season.

  • We carry the ever-popular Bridgestone Blizzak, Michelin Latitude X-Ice, Goodyear, Uniroyal Tiger Paw winter tires, and Toyo, BF Goodrich, Westlake, GT Radials, General Tires, Kumho, Pirelli, Dunlop, Hankook, Continental, and Yokohama.
  • It is important to take a photo of your current tire showing the series of numbers allowing you to match your tires with those available for your vehicle. Or give us a call at either of our two London locations below.
  • We have special offers available for most of our winter tires. Look for rebates and promotions on our tire page. 
  • Having a set of rims for each set of tires is the most economical choice in the long run when switching seasonal tires. Ask us about rim options.



    Visit Hanford’s Tire & Service at our two locations or watch our wheels go round on our Homepage: 

    330 Ridout St. N (519) 434 3236

    444 Wharncliffe Rd. S (519) 438 6181