All four winter tires need to match in size, tread type, and depth. File photo

All four winter tires need to match in size, tread type, and depth. File photo

Winter tires are required on many B.C. routes between Oct. 1 and March 31

While fall’s leisurely arrival has winter driving far from the minds of many in British Columbia, cooler temperatures and gray skies will be here soon enough. And that means that regardless of the kind of vehicle you drive, it’s time to switch to winter tires.

In fact, winter tires or chains are required on most routes in B.C. from Oct. 1 to March 31. For select highways, including mountain passes and rural routes in high snowfall areas, the date will be extended until April 30 to account for early-spring snowfall.

According to Shift Into Winter, to do their job, winter tires should be in good condition with a tread depth of 3.5 mm.

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

• Make sure tires match – All four tires need to match in size, tread type and tread depth. You need at least two matching winter tires on the primary drive axle, even for a 4X4 vehicle. Using different types of tires compromises stability and could cause your vehicle to fishtail.

• Check tire wear and pressure – Always check the wear of your winter tires before installing them. Are they in good shape and with enough tread? Monitor tire pressure often as it can drop in cold weather.

• Carry chains or other traction devices – Passenger vehicles may be required to use chains or other traction devices with winter tires. Know and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for putting them on properly.

Shift into Winter is supported by the Winter Driving Safety Alliance, which reminds drivers to prepare themselves and their vehicle now for changing road and weather conditions.

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