Safe Driving

Keep your tires safe

Make sure that your tires stay in good condition to keep you safe

To get the most out of your tires—maximum mileage, safety and wear—you’ll need to properly maintain them, but don’t worry. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, and we’re here to help.

Tire pressure

How to check tire pressure

Tires have been known to lose up to 1psi (pounds per square inch) every month, so check all tires, including your spare, once a month (or before a long trip). It’s easy. Here’s how:

Nitrogen versus compressed air

Most tires are filled with compressed air. But some tire retailers have started to put nitrogen into their customers’ tires. (Nitrogen is simply dry air with the oxygen removed. Air contains nearly 79% nitrogen already.) Because nitrogen replaces oxygen, less air can escape your tires, and your inflation pressure stays higher longer. Unfortunately, there are other possible sources of leaks (tire/rim interface, valve, valve/rim interface and the wheel), which prevent the guarantee of pressure maintenance for individuals using air or nitrogen inflation.

Mixing new tires with worn tires?

Why you should always install two new tires on the rear axle.

When replacing only two tires instead of all four, be sure the new tires are the same size and type as your current ones. Also, ensure your dealer always installs the new tires on the rear axle of your vehicle.

Why put new tires on the rear axle?
  • They will provide better wet grip than your half-worn tires.
  • They help reduce the potential for your vehicle to fishtail and lose stability in wet conditions.

How to inspect a tire

Once a month, or before embarking on a long road trip, check your tires for wear and damage problems. An easy way to check for wear is by using the quarter test. Just grab a Canadian quarter and follow these 3 easy steps:

Tire rotation

Fact: Regular rotation helps extend the life of your tires and improve performance. So if you like safety and saving money.

Regular rotation is important for vehicles with dual rear wheels as well. Below are the two most common rotation patterns for 6-wheeled vehicles. However, check your owner's manual to see if there is a recommended rotation scheme.

During rotation, each tire and wheel is removed from your vehicle and moved to a different position to ensure that all tires wear evenly and last longer. Tires should be rotated every six months or 6,000 to 8,000 miles.

When should I install my winter tires?

You should install your winter tires when the temperature consistently approaches freezing.

Installation and more:

Ask a technician to make sure the tires are rotated from where they were during the last winter season. You should also ask for the remaining tread depth to be measured and the air pressure to be adjusted.

Air Pressure

Check your tire pressure each month

Tires lose pressure as the temperature drops. For example, if a tire has a pressure of 29 psi at 16º⁠C, the pressure may be only 26 psi at 0ºC. So it’s really important to check your pressure at least once a month.

Adjusting pressure in cold temperatures

If you are adjusting your tire pressure outside in ambient temperature, set it to the vehicle manufacturers’ recommended pressures.

Adjusting pressure in warm temperatures

If you are adjusting your tire pressure outside in ambient temperature, set it to the vehicle manufacturers’ recommended pressures. Only adjust pressure when tires are cold---either stationary for 3 hours or more or driven less than 1 kilometre.

How to store your tires

  • Store your tires indoors in a clean, cool and dark location away from direct sunlight, sources of heat and ozone, such as hot pipes or electric generators.
  • Be sure the surfaces on which tires are stored are clean and free from grease, gasoline or other substances that could deteriorate the rubber.
  • If storing outdoors, raise tires off the ground and use waterproof covering with holes to prevent moisture build-up.
  • If tires are on vehicle, remove load from tires by raising the vehicle. Maintain placard inflation pressure.
  • If your tires have whitewall or raised white lettering, store them with these details facing each other. Otherwise, black rubber could stain them. (The results are not pretty.)

Find Vehicle Size - Find your size on your tire

A tire’s sidewall is simply the outer and inner “walls” on the sides of a tire. Every sidewall has its own unique information that is divided into three main sections:
1.Tire Specs

This describes the fundamental characteristics of your tire. Size, construction, speed rating, and more.

2.Department of Transportation Safety Code

This assures that your tire complies with all Department of Transportation (DOT) safety standards. After the DOT insignia is your tire’s identification number, which begins with the tire’s manufacturer and plant code where the tire was manufactured (two numbers or letters). The ninth and tenth characters tell the week the tire was manufactured. The final number(s) signifies the year the tire was manufactured.

3.UTQG code

The Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) was established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to test tires following government-prescribed test methods and then grade each tire on three main components:

  • Treadwear:
    This is the wear rate of the tire, comparable only to other tires within a tire manufacturer’s line. The baseline grade is 100. Therefore, a tire with 200 would theoretically last twice as long on the government’s course compared to a tire with 100.
  • Traction:
    Traction grades are AA, A, B and C (with AA being the highest grade). They represent the tire’s ability to stop straight on wet pavement as measured on a specified government track. Any tire rated under C is considered unacceptable for road travel.
  • Temperature:
    The temperature grades, from highest to lowest, are A, B and C. These represent the tire’s ability to dissipate heat under controlled indoor test conditions. Any tire rated below C is considered unacceptable.

Some tires have unique benefits, as showcased with specific icons. The letters M and S (M+S) indicate that the tire meets the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s standards for a mud and snow tire. The letters can be found in the following combinations: M+S, M/S and M&S. All-season tires carry this mark.

Find your tire size in your vehicle owner’s manual or on your door

  • Find the information in your vehicle owner’s manual in the glove compartment or on the tire information sticker on your driver’s side door.
  • Usually those elements contain all the information related to your tire size and specifications as well as the appropriate tire pressure.
See the “Find your tire size on your tire” tab for a full description of the numbers and letters.

5 questions to ask the dealer

1.What type of tires do you recommend for my vehicle and my specific driving needs (weather conditions, types of roads, driving style, etc.)?

2.For that type of tire, what specific product do you recommend?

3.Why do you recommend this tire over others?

4.Does its price include mounting and balancing?

5.Are any other services included?

Availability and price
  • If a tire you’ve selected is not immediately available at your dealer, you can ask them to order it.
  • Remember that a good price does not always reflect good value: tires that lasts longer can help you save on fuel and help keep you safe, offering better value in the long run.