«The date of March 16 for changing tires is a little utopian in Quebec’s climate.»
Despite the arrival of spring, the cocktail of freezing rain, rain and snow expected to hit several regions of Quebec Saturday is a reminder that there is no reason for motorists to rush to swap winter tires for summer tires.
This is the message from CAA-Quebec, which has put together a table outlining the “realistic date” for the installation of summer tires, by region, in collaboration with MétéoMédia.
Under Quebec law, motorists have been allowed to switch to summer tires since March 16.
What’s more important than the date is the average daytime temperature, which should be 7 Celsius or higher, continuously, to ensure summer tires can get a good grip on roadways, said CAA-Quebec spokesperson Annie Gauthier.
This is also why the “realistic date” varies from one region to another, from April 5 to mid-May, she said.
“The date of March 16 for changing tires is a little utopian in Quebec’s climate,” said MétéoMédia meteorologist André Monette. He noted that many regions are still getting snow and temperatures remain cold in many places.
Gauthier said Quebec drivers should not fear their winter tires will wear prematurely if they wait too long before swapping them.
“It’s a myth,” she said. “What will damage the winter tires is the very hot summer, which is not the case at this time of the year.”
Realistic dates, by region, for installing summer tires, according to CAA-Quebec and MétéoMédia:
April 5 to 15: Montreal, Laval, Montérégie, Estrie, Outaouais
April 10 to 20: Laurentides, Lanaudière, Center-du-Québec, Mauricie
April 15 to 25: Quebec City region, Chaudière-Appalaches, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Abitibi-Témiscamingue
April 20 to 30: Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine
April 25 to May 5: North Shore
After May 15: Northern Quebec