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Spring vehicle maintenance encouraged

It's time to change the winter tires for all-seasons
It's time to change the winter tires for all-seasons

Alexandra Pope, staff writer

April 13, 2011 — Spring has settled in Ontario and the Canadian Automobile Association says it's a good time for motorists to do some vehicle maintenance.

Winter tires provide better control in cold and snowy conditions
Winter tires provide better control in cold and snowy conditions

As temperatures continue to climb and we inch closer to the summer season, drivers should remember to spend some time on vehicle maintenance.

Silvana Aceto with CAA in south-central Ontario says once temperatures are consistently above 7°C, motorists should consider trading in the winter tires for all-seasons.

“We recommend drivers change from winter tires to all-season tires ... when the weather starts to warm up and is consistent throughout the week and the snow has melted and we're not forecasting any more.”

While spring snowstorms aren't out of the question, drivers shouldn't wait too long to make the change. Winter tires are made of softer rubber that doesn't hold up well on hot pavement, Aceto says.

“They're really not designed for use in the summer, and on a hot day the rubber will really become soft and your winter tires will wear out a lot faster.”

Motorists encouraged to practice safe driving
Motorists encouraged to practice safe driving

Aceto says April is usually a good benchmark for when to begin spring maintenance -- including the tire changeover -- on your vehicle.

Drivers are also urged to keep road safety in mind as temperatures climb. Officials say when the sun is shining and visibility is clear, motorists are more inclined to push the speed limits. The most common fatalities usually involve motorcycles.

The Ontario Provincial Police kicked off the annual Spring Seatbelt Campaign on April 13 in an effort to encourage safe driving.

“Far too many people are losing their lives for not wearing their restraints at the time of the crash and many more were seriously injured for the very same reason,” says Sgt. Dave Woodford with the OPP.

With files from the Canadian Press and Andrea Stockton

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