Ready for winter | The automobile in question: second opinion

Our collaborator answers questions from readers

Q. I need to purchase four winter tires for a 2015 Subaru Outback, 225/60/18. My dealer claims that I don’t need to buy four rims to go with the new winter tires because the original vehicle rims nowadays can easily withstand the winter weather without getting damaged and without lose their shine. Finally, I am told that it is no longer true that the traction would be better with, in my case, 17 inch tires for the winter. What do you think ?

– Jacques R.

R. The issue of rims remains a moot point. More durable, perhaps, but why not invest in steel rims and hubcaps to prevent ice and snow buildup in the wheels? As for tires, he is right about modern vehicles. You can keep the size of 18 inches.

A convertible in winter

PHOTO PROVIDED BY AUDI

There are a number of all-wheel drive convertibles on the market, including the Audi TT Roadster.

Q. A simple question: I want a convertible, but I also want to use it in winter. Do you have a suggestion?

– Paul M.

R. Convertibles no longer fear winter as they once did. On the other hand, some are more difficult to drive than others, in particular because of their mode (propulsion) or their low ground clearance. There are a number of all-wheel drive convertibles on the market, but it should be clear what attributes you’re looking for and the price you’re willing to pay to help you decide what to do. So, you could very well consider an Audi TT (is two seats enough?) Or even a BMW 2 Series. My question now: do they match your budget?

I remember

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PHOTO ARCHIVES THE PRESS

A car was stuck in the snow on Saint-Laurent Boulevard in 1946.

Q. Since 2008, the Government of Quebec has required us to install winter tires. My friends and my husband find that ridiculous and say that there is only such a law in Quebec. But I remember when I was young in the 1950s my father installed his winter tires around October. The move away from winter tires came, in my opinion, when the industry switched to traction and the advent of all-season tires. Am I wrong?

– Maryse P.

R. Quebec is not the only place in the world where such legislation exists. This law was not dictated by the generalization of traction or all-season tires, but out of concern for the safety of road users. In the past, the motorist was free to install snow tires or not, but it should also be remembered that the number of cars has increased significantly over the years. In addition, certain modern technologies (ABS, for example) work more efficiently with tires correctly matched to the coefficient of adhesion of the road.

Winter tires all year round?

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PHOTO SIMON GIROUX, ARCHIVES THE PRESS

Winter tires are not suitable for summer temperatures.

Q. I see that many motorists keep their winter tires all year round … with the consequences that implies. Isn’t it time to change the law to ban this practice?

– Victor P.

R. Anxious to save money, many motorists keep their winter tires during the summer season. This practice is, alas, dangerous. Keeping these tires on during the summer not only increases the risk of bursting, but also the braking distances. Also, contrary to popular belief, they drastically decrease grip. Consequence: they represent a significant risk for the occupants of the vehicle and for other road users.



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