Tire 101

Tire Basics

A: The best place to find the optimal size for your tires is inside the owner's manual. However, if you can't locate the manual, you can also find your tire size: in the driver's side door jamb, inside your gas tank hatch or inside your glovebox door.

A: You can read your tire size by viewing the sidewall of your tire. If you look at the side of your tire, you will see a number such as P205/65R16 these numbers stand for: "P" the P in this case means that it is a tire for a passenger vehicle, if there was an "LT" that would mean a light truck. 205: The 205 is a measurement in millimeters for the tire's width. In this case, the tire is 205 millimeters wide. 65: The 65 is a measurement of the height of the side wall which is calculated by percentage of the width of the tire. In this case, 65 percent of 205 would be 133.25. "R": This letter refers to the tire's construction. In this case, it is a radially constructed tire. o 16: The next number in this sequence refers to the diameter. This tire is 16 inches in diameter.

A: All new tires sold in Canada come with tread bear bars which are difficult to see when the tire is new and the grooves are still deep. As your tire wears down, the grooves do as well and the bars become more visible. It is recommended to change your tire before it reaches 2/32nd of an inch and you can measure this by using a tread depth measuring tool. Another method of checking tread depth is by placing a traditional Canadian penny into one of the grooves. If a part of the Queen's head is always being covered by the grooves, then you are in the clear.

A: We recommend that you install your winter tires when the average temperature dips below 7 degrees Celsius. For summer tires however, it is recommended that you wait until the threat of winter and snow has completely passed before installing them to ensure optimal safety.

A: We recommend that all four tires on your vehicle are the same make, model and size with identical tread depth to ensure optimal performance and to reduce risk.

A: The 'ECOFEE' that is attached on the purchase of tires helps ensure environmental reuse and disposal of your tires when they are at the end of their life.

Tire Care

A: If you take a look at you're the sidewall of your tire, you will see something along the lines of 'Max. Press. 35 PSI' which shows you the maximum PSI for your tire. However, we recommend that you keep your tire around 30-32 PSI depending on your vehicle to prolong the life of your tire and assist with a smoother drive. You can also view recommended tire pressure inside your door jamb.

A: The best method of checking the pressure of your tire is to use a digital tire air pressure gauge.

A: It is important to rotate your tires once every six months or roughly 10,000 KM. Since each tire normally carries a different amount of weight depending on where it's located, rotating your tires helps increase the life of your tires.

A: Some car owners prefer to keep their tires in their home. However, Barrie Subaru offers drivers the ease of mind of storing your tires in a climate controlled facility for only $99.95* per season. Not only does it save you space in your home, but it also means you won't have to handle dirty tires every time you change them.

A: Most vehicles newer than the 2008 models come with a monitoring system that uses a sensor to measure both tire pressure and tire air temperature. The sensor is fitted into each wheel and sends information electronically to the receiver which then alerts the driver if there are any inconsistencies. If the warning symbol (pictured) pops up, it means that either one or more of the tires may be under-inflated.

A: The warning light could be an indicator of a system malfunction. If the light flashes before it stabilizes, it could mean that the pressure is within the appropriate range. If you are concerned for any reason, please bring your vehicle in for an inspection and one of our technicians will diagnose the issue.

Tire Selection

A: All-season tires are meant for the everyday driver. They provide a sufficient driving experience in dry and wet conditions as well as some traction with snow in the winter. The tread on these tires is moderate in depth which proves to last longer than summer tires which have a shallower depth. Summer tires provide an enhanced driving experience. They offer a sportier ride with greater responsiveness, cornering and braking capabilities. These tires are ideal for high performance vehicles as they have less grooving which allows for more rubber contact with the road.

Winter Tires

A: Driving in the Canadian winter is difficult enough as it is. Winter tires provide your care with a safer driving experience thanks to softer rubber, more tread and deeper grooves. This allows for more traction and control when driving as compared to all-season tires which have a tendency to build up slush easier on the wheel.
A: There are many variables that go into selecting the right winter tires for your vehicle. Depending on the make and model of your car, the size of your tires and the quality of tire you wish to purchase, the price fluctuates accordingly. For a frame of reference, you can visit our Tire Locator & Pricing page here for more information.

A: Having just two tires on the driving axel of your car is not nearly as safe as four winter tires. Let's say you have a FWD vehicle and you put winter tires on the front axle only, the tires in the front will gain traction and stick to the road, however, your all-season tires in the rear have the potential to lose stability causing your car to spin out. That is why it is recommended to install four winter tires on your vehicle to maximize your safety.

A: Much like other tires, you can judge the life of your winter tires based on their tread. Depending on how much you drive and the conditions you drive in, it is very possible to get more than three seasons out of your winter tires. It is recommended to not drive with your winter tires when temperatures warmer than 7 degrees Celsius become the norm as that will significantly increase the wear on them.

Tire Maintenance

A: If you notice that you're constantly filling air into one or two tires because the pressure is always low, it could mean a variety of things. The most common problem is a punctured tire. It could mean that a sharp object has broken the seal of your tire and is slowly allowing air pressure to escape. Another possibility could be a loose tire bead (where the tire connects to the rim of the wheel) this causes air to slowly escape. In any case, if you're concerned about your tire pressure, you can always come to our service department where we will diagnose the problem and provide you the best options for a resolution.

A: Tire rotation extends the life of your tires by ensuring that the work each tire does is spread evenly among the four. Each tire carries a different amount of weight depending on where it's positioned and rotating them roughly every 10,000 KM will help prolong their life.

A: A good indicator of an imbalanced tire is the moving back and forth of a steering wheel (usually at a specific speed). This makes for a less smooth driving experience and can reduce the longevity of your tires. To balance a tire, one of our mechanics will mount the tire onto a proper rim, apply the proper air pressure and install a new valve stem. The imbalance of the tire will then be gauged using a machine and the mechanic will then make the required adjustments to ensure that your drive is not only optimal but efficient as well.

A: When you purchase a new car, the steering and suspension is new and works to factory specs. This allows the vehicle to drive and corner very smoothly. As you drive your car on a regular basis, it wears down on your car's bushings, ball and socket joints. When that happens, your car tends to lose alignment from the factory standard. This leads to reduced driving and cornering abilities and increases the wear on your tire. It is recommended to have your alignment checked at least once a year to ensure proper tire maintenance.

Driving Tips

A: It is always best to drive according to speed limits. The faster you drive, the more excess heat is generated on your tires which leads to increased wear. We recommend braking from a safe distance and at a smooth pace. Attempt to avoid aggressive / hard braking as that greatly increases the wear on your tires.
A: When driving over pot holes, speed bumps etc. do your best to drive at a slower pace to reduce impact on your tires.