How to Save when Winterizing Your Car

How to Save

As we begin our descent into the deep freeze we call winter here in Canada, thoughts are starting to turn to the need for winter tires on our cars. Some provinces like Quebec have legislated the use of winter tires on all registered vehicles, while the rest haven’t. This is a debate that most Canadians will engage in at some point: do I get winter tires for my car? And then secondarily, when do I put them on my car?

Since I got a new car earlier this year, I was having that debate myself over the summer. I figured that since I’ve got 17″ sport/performance tires on the car, it would be a good idea to get winter tires. All-season performance tires are notorious for not being the best in the snow & ice & cold of winter. Plus I don’t actually like the brand of OEM tires my car has anyways, so I am all for getting different tires on there.Car

The hunt began for me in August, especially once I learned about my new job: it’s in a snow belt, and traditionally gets lots more snow than I’m used to getting these days. I quickly learned that winter tires are called winter tires and not just snow tires. Because in the winter the temperature goes down, and there’s both ice AND snow, winter tires are specially made to handle those three situations (to varying degrees.) Depending on your location, you may want a tire that handles better in snow & ice, or ones that handle dry, cold roads better. I’m actually going to need a tire that handles all three pretty well, so I had some work to do.

My new car model has a car “club” in my area, since it’s one of those sporty little cars that enthusiasts like to modify. (I have a Mazda 3 GT, and am a member of the Toronto Mazda 3 forum, not the club though–I don’t go to the meetings n’ things they have, although it sounds like a good group of people to hang out with!) On the forum, there’s all sorts of good discussions on all sorts of good topics. One interesting and smart aspect of the forum is the Sponsors section, where various auto-related businesses have applied and become sponsors of the forum (they might even be sponsors of the group, I’m not too sure about that.) One of them was having a group buy on winter tires, and was offering discounts based on the number of people who purchased. I investigated all the options he was presenting, spoke to the gentleman a few times, and then made a decision. I’m getting a great pair of Swedish winter tires PLUS steel rims for $720 + tax. How great is that? I was actually expecting to have to spend over $1000 on the rims and tires, so anything less than that is wonderful.

Next up is the windshield wipers; time to replace them anyways as they’re getting old, but also to get ones that will work better in the winter time. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for sales so that I can save some money on those too. Because of the size of the blades, each one ends up costing about $20 or so. I know some of you will say I could just buy the blades and slide them onto the wiper thingies, but that’s just a little too DIY for me. I will just buy whole new blades and be done with it.

How to Save when Winterizing Your Car

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