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Safety Precautions for Canadian Winter Driving

Sep 18, 2018

Winter driving with Toyota Canada

Canadians know winter has a way of sneaking up on us. One day, leaves will be falling to the ground and the next we’ll see the shimmer of snowflakes dusting the earth. While the change of seasons brings wonders like hot cocoa, ice skating and staying warm by a crackling fire, unfortunately it also brings less-than-ideal driving conditions.

With ice, slush and snow covering the roads, it’s important to take the steps needed to prepare your vehicle for harsher driving conditions. Most know that winter tires offer improved grip, handling and traction when the weather turns bad, but you may not realize that it’s also worth switching your rims too.

While the alloy wheels that come standard with your vehicle work perfectly during most seasons (and let’s be honest, look pretty snazzy), they aren’t necessarily built for harsh Canadian winters. That’s why we suggest swapping alloy wheels for heavier and stronger steel wheels to keep your vehicle running as smoothly as possible this winter, whether you’re on your way to hit the slopes or navigating a slushy drive to work.

Toyota Parts & Services changing car wheel.

Steel vs. Alloy: Why Steel Rims are the Better Choice for Winter

Steel wheels are a great choice for winter, as they’re less sensitive to the drops in temperature. While all metal expands and contracts in response to dips in temperature, steel rims don’t contract as much as alloy rims. This resiliency helps to maintain tire pressure and to keep your vehicle running smoothly all winter.

Toyota C-HR Steel Wheel

What a Steel! Why Buying A Second Set of Rims Helps Cut Costs

Not sold yet? While buying an extra set of rims does cost money, it can end up being cheaper in the long run to invest in steel rims. Besides being less likely to crack and corrode in winter weather, steel rims are up to three times cheaper than alloy rims. This means a second set of wheels wouldn’t cost you as much as it would to replace your original equipment if it got damaged.

Buying a second set of wheels also cuts down on the chances of damaging the wheels your car came with, as they’ll be tucked away indoors for safe keeping during the winter. By keeping your summer wheels inside, you’ll protect them from road salt and other chemicals that are put on the roads.

Investing in steel rims can also cut costs at the repair centre, because it’s easier and less expensive for technicians to put on winter tires when they are paired with rims. Keeping your tires on rims also helps maintain your tire’s strength, because mounting and remounting tires only can put strain on the rubber and will cause them to wear down faster.

Visiting a Toyota technician to install steel rims with your winter tires is recommended, as they know your vehicle best and will make sure the wheels are balanced after they’ve been in storage. They can also work with you to keep wheels stored properly in between seasons. Book your appointment today!