Winter Tire Guide 2017: Which Tires to Buy and When to Buy Them

Winter Tire Guide 2017: Which Tires to Buy and When to Buy Them

Having the right winter tires on your vehicle is essential for winter driving safety. Take a look below to find out which tires are the best to get you from point A to point B safely on snowy, icy roads.

Winter Tires vs All-Season Tires

If you live in an area that gets little snow in the winter, and rarely gets below 7 °C (45° F), all-season tires could last you all year. However if it regularly snows and often gets below 7 °C, you’ll definitely need a tire that’s built for those harsh conditions.

Winter tires are manufactured to have aggressive tread patterns and are made in a way that keeps them pliable in cold conditions.

Winter tires offer far superior acceleration, braking, and handling in the snow compared to all-season tires.

Winter Tires, Condition and Performance

Tires perform differently depending on their condition and this is particularly noticeable in the ice and snow. Worn tires can affect braking, cornering and road handling in adverse conditions.

Generally speaking, even worn winter tires will outperform new 3-season tires during the winter. But once a tire is worn beyond 50%, performance noticeably decreases in both braking and cornering.

Premium winter tires will retain their quality longer than budget winter tires or 3-season tires. Transport Canada’s official guidelines say that tires worn close to 5/32” should never be driven on roads that are snow-covered. Most tire manufacturers as well as the law in most provinces in Canada support these standards.

  • #1: 3-season tires are significantly less safe for driving in extreme winter weather.

  • #2: If you want tires that will last, not just perform well for a short period of time, get the best winter tires you can find. It’s worth it.

  • #3: Stopping distance diminishes greatly beyond 50 percent wear (7/32”), so buy a new set once your tires reach this point.

Buy Winter Tires Windsor Ontario

How to Know When to Replace Your Winter Tires

Winter tires are extremely durable. Their deep tread allows the vehicle to push through the slush and snow, yet grip on icy roads and through corners. Once your tires get to 4/32” though, their ability to do this is vastly reduced.

How can you tell how worn your winter tires are?

  • Tread Wear Indicator: Many tires will have a built in tread wear indicator. These are raised bars along the grooves of the tires that indicate the minimum legal tread depth. If these indicators are worn, it’s time to switch out your tires.
  •  Tire Tread Depth Gauge: This handy device is available at most gas stations and is an easy way to get an accurate idea of how much tread is left on your tires. Simply place the gauge into the shallowest groove of the tread and take a reading. If the readout falls below 7 – 12/32” then it’s time for a change.
  • Coin: A quick way of determining whether there’s sufficient tread left on your tires is to use a coin. If the tread only reaches to the lettering around the outside of the coin, it’s likely too worn to be safe and effective in the snow

Winter Tire-change Check-up pointers

Aside from checking the tread of your tires, there are a few telltale signs you can look out for that indicate it’s time for a new set:

  • Bulges and blisters: if a tire has a bulge or blister on its wall, there’s a very high chance it’s about to blowout or fail. If you notice one of these, you should change your tire immediately.
  • Lacerations or punctures larger than 0.25 inches: any lacerations or obvious signs of damage will render a tire unstable. A puncture that is bigger than 0.25 inches in the tread or tire wall is also irreparable.
  • If you’re only buying two new tires, make sure that they match and are placed on the rear axle.
  • Also ensure that the speed and load-carrying capacity of your new tires matches that of any you’re not changing.

Top Tires for Winter in Canada

  •  Bridgestone Blizzak: provides excellent winter traction thanks to the design of the tread which prevents water from forming between the tread and the road surface.
  •  Continental WinterContact SI: a new tire to the Canadian market that is gaining popularity thanks to its densely packed tread and excellent grip in winter conditions.
  •  Michelin X-Ice Xi3: has a unique design that spreads the load when braking and accelerating while at the same time gripping the road.
  •  Nokian Hakkapeliitta: the result of years of testing and perfecting winter tires from a Finnish company.
  •  Pirelli Winter Sottozero: has a unique composition, giving enhanced mechanical, thermal and dynamic properties when driving on snowy roads.




Best Truck Models 2017

Best Truck Models 2017

Although 2016 saw a continued rise on overall vehicle sales stateside, dull weather, hurricanes, and overall skepticism did take a toll on vehicle sales. 2017 however, saw the dominance of crossovers on overall sales. But this trend never dampened the sales of pickup trucks, as demand for these workhorses continued to soar with its practicality catering a majority of working class Canadians.

We have rounded up a few of the Best Selling Trucks Canada has considered this year.


GMC Canyon – Coming in at fourth place for the best trucks of 2016-2017 is General Motor’s foray into the premium midsize truck segment, the GMC Canyon.   Power comes from the ever reliable 3.4L Duramax V6.  And, there’s also GM’s relatively new (stateside) 181 hp Duramax Inline 4 Common Rail Diesel, bringing ample power and torque for those too lazy to go to the pump. Projector-beam headlamps, LED-signature front lighting, Lane Departure Warning/Forward Collision Alert, EZ-Lift and Lower Tailgate, 6 speed auto, and a 7700 lb trailer rating round up the specs on this midsize truck.

Chevrolet Colorado Windsor Ontario2017-chevrolet-colorado-for-sale-windsor-ontario

Chevrolet Colorado – At third place is Chevy’s Best Midsize Pickup Truck offering. A virtual twin of the Canyon, the Chevrolet Colorado shares the spec sheet with its GM sibling. Offering three capable engines, including an available 3.6L V6 with best-in-class horsepower and the GM-exclusive Duramax®2.8L Turbo-Diesel engine, the Colorado also boasts of a 7700 lb towing capacity, an exclusive Multimatic DSSV™ Damping System, front and rear electronic locking differentials and four wheel disc brakes. Inside, heated seats, Bose®sound system, intuitive controls, leather appointments, and available built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi® connection for up to seven devices make up for that premium ride and feel. And because it’s a midsize, you won’t find yourself hogging 2 parking spaces at Walmart.



GMC Sierra –General Motors’ offering doesn’t disappoint at our best Pickup truck list. Second place for our top picks goes to the Sierra 1500, fresh from a 2016 makeover. Hinting of a more upscale feel than most of its rivals, the Sierra 1500 offers premium bits like LEDs on both the foglights and the tail lights, HIDs, upscale styling, and 22 inch wheels.  Sierras 1500s come standard with a 285-hp 4.3-liter V-6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. And if you’re going for the Denali, it will come standard with a 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 engine, coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission. A reduced noise interior, new infotainment system and GMs Onstar 4G connectivity are new for 2017.



Chevrolet Silverado – Earning the top spot of our Best Pickup Truck List is the Chevrolet Silverado 1500. With an updated, robust design, the Bow Tie full size has a new fascia, hood,  tailgate and has available LEDs on both the front and rear lights. Although styled less discerningly than its Sierra brother, the brute look of the Silverado seems to appeal to most truck buyers, not to mention its bank- friendlier pricing.   As with the Sierra, the Silverado comes with a 285-hp 4.3-liter V-6 engine mated also with the same six speed auto. Engine choices include a 5.3 liter V8 and a 420hp 6.2 liter V8 with an eight speed automatic.

It is obvious that Chevrolet had a clear vision of what it wanted to make when it came out with the Silverado – an honest, no-nonsense workhorse designed to be effective at its job. With an assortment of class leading engines, fuel economy, an all new exterior in a competitively priced package, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is undoubtedly the top contender in our best pickup truck roundup for 2016-2107.

Buying a Used Car in Windsor, Ontario: Tips and Tricks

Buying a Used Car in Windsor, Ontario: Tips and Tricks

With so many auto dealers in Windsor Ontario here is a few tips for buying a used car, Getting a great deal when buying a used car can be overwhelming when shopping for a used car or truck. This is true whether you are purchasing your first car, replacing an old one, or adding a second (or third) vehicle for your growing family. Buying used can save you a lot of money, but it comes with its own pitfalls. The process alone can be quite tiring if you don’t know exactly what to look for. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to save yourself time, money, and headaches. Here is our  tips for buying a used car in Ontario.

  1. Prepare Yourself

Make sure you have a few vehicles in mind that suit your needs. This could be a list of several models that you’ll narrow down later. Ask yourself where you will be driving the vehicle, and how often. Resources to aid your search include:

Also take the time to sit down and set your budget. When setting the maximum dollar amount you can spend, consider the following:

  • Sale price
  • Taxes
  • Licensing/registration fees
  • Insurance
  • Repairs
  • Regular fill-ups and maintenance

Next, do some research to narrow down your list. You’ll need to look up each vehicle to find out details such as reliability, cost of repairs (maybe custom parts are needed), and average price. Refer back to the resources you used for your initial research.

Now you should decide who to buy from: car dealership or private seller. Each option comes with its own pros and cons. You can usually get the best deal with a private seller, but the trade-off is that you’re buying the vehicle “as is,” which means you are inheriting the vehicle’s problems as well. At a dealership, the vehicle is usually fixed up and cleaned before it’s ready to sell.

  1. Inspect the Vehicle

Once you have settled on a seller, go have a look at the car. You’ll need to inspect it completely, so you can avoid problems in the future. After physically inspecting the car, make sure to take it for a test drive. If the seller takes issue with either the inspection or test drive, consider that a warning sign – and walk away.

Some areas to focus on include:

  • Exterior – Check that the body is straight, the paint job is uniform, and there isn’t too much rust.
  • Transmission – Check the transmission fluid for a brownish color or burnt odor.
  • Cooling system – Check the engine compartment for leaks and passenger compartment for moisture. The coolant fluid inside the radiator should be clean and free of debris.
  • Engine – The engine should both start and stop quickly. With the engine running, check for smoke and leaks.

During your test drive, spend 45 minutes to an hour on the road, and take different types of roads (city, highway, etc.). Whether you live in a mountainous region of Canada or inner city, do your best to drive through a variety of conditions anyway. Pay attention to any noises the car might make. Test the brakes, gears, suspension, and steering.

Also check out the car’s history:

  • Obtain the car’s documents. These should include the Used Vehicle Information Package (legally required in Ontario), Safety Standards Certificate, and Ontario Drive Clean Emissions Test.
  • Check out the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). You can call this number in to the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), local automobile protection agency, or provincial transport office.
  • Obtain an independent history report from CarProof, which is more relevant to Canadian used cars than the more popular CarFax.
  1. Know How to Negotiate a Used Car

After you have chosen a car and determined that it is in good condition, it’s time to purchase, right? Not yet. If you want to avoid being taken advantage of, you need to negotiate a fair price.

Remember when you did that research on the car’s average price? Here’s where you use that intel. But don’t try to outwit a dealership – they’ve already heard it all. They negotiate for a living. Instead, be genuine, upfront, and sincere about your offer. And remember: you can find that exact same car somewhere else. So, if you’re faced with someone who refuses to budge, be prepared to walk away and take your business elsewhere.

Buying a used car can become an intimidating and confusing venture. You don’t want to be taken advantage of, and you also don’t want to spend the entire life of the car repairing it. By using these five tips for buying a used car in Ontario, you can make sure your search doesn’t become a hassle, and start enjoying your new car.

When shopping Windsor Used Cars for sale please feel free to view our used car inventory.

Buying Used Cars: Tips and Tricks

Buying Used Cars: Tips and Tricks

Buying a car is no joke. It is a purchase where you’ll be spending thousands of dollars on something you will be using for quite some time. In short, purchasing a car, even if a used one,  is an important, considerably costly decision wherein you must exercise a great deal of caution before proceeding with a final purchase. As with all decisions, there are important factors to consider. In this post, we break down the important details to consider, as well as tips and tricks from some of the leading experts in the car industry regarding what to look for when buying a used car:

Research before buying

In most cases, you’ll already have a car in mind that you want to purchase. Before even going out to canvass prices from dealers, make sure to do research on the model you are eyeing first. Research on reputable car-related sources online and join automotive online communities and see what people have to say about the car you want to buy. Online communities are a great source of real feedback from individuals who already own the car you want. Pay attention to the virtues and especially the flaws or issues that people mention about the car make and model that you want. Researching before you buy will also ensure that you’ll be asking the right questions and paying attention to the correct details once at the dealership.

Conduct specific and thorough inspection

Once at the dealership, make sure to thoroughly inspect the car that you are looking into buying.

  • Pay attention to the car’s title. This can be a ‘clear’ title, ‘rebuilt’, ‘salvaged’, etc. It is generally a good rule to steer clear from salvaged cars, dismantled, and quite obviously, junk titled cars. These are usually cars that have a history of having sustained a 75% damage beyond the original value, something which could potentially be a problem down the line.
  • Make a note of the VIN. VIN or the Vehicle Identification Number, is important to note so you can view the vehicle’s history report at or
  • Eyeball test. How does the car look, especially in natural/outside lighting? Outdoor settings can reveal flaws that are not immediately visible inside showrooms or photos.
  • Engine condition inspection. How are the fluid levels? Are they in range? Is the oil from the dipstick brown against a white rag? (It shouldn’t be.) Is it milky? (it shouldn’t be either. This indicates coolant in the sump.) Is there an odor? (Worn out piston rings usually give a gas smell to the oil.) Are there metallic specs in the oil? This signals a serious engine problem. This follows for transmission fluid as well.
  • Bring a friend. Asking a friend who knows cars better or having a mechanic inspect the car is a great way to ensure that you don’t miss a thing. Even if you are a seasoned car enthusiast, it is recommended that you have a mechanic inspect the car, especially underneath the vehicle, to avoid buyer’s remorse.

Conduct a test drive

It is imperative that you test-ride the car you want to buy, especially when it comes to used cars. This way you get a feel of how the car drives and it is also a good way to find out some potentially major flaws in the car (a knocking in the engine, banging from the suspension or if it still feels new or simply worn out. Major flaws when driving is one thing, minor flaws can serve as a deal-breaker as well as minor flaws when compounded can average into a car that you shouldn’t buy. You’ll be driving the car after the purchase, is this a car that you would be pleased to drive every day? When taking it out for a test drive, pay attention to:

  • How it rides. Does it ride smoothly in low speeds? How about higher speeds? Try pushing it above 60 miles per hour during the test since some problems only reveal themselves at higher speeds. How does the front end feel? Is there a detectable shaking or vibrating going on?
  • How it accelerates. Pay attention to any odd noises that manifests when you accelerate. How is the transmission shift? (Should be smooth.)
  • How it brakes.  How does the pedal feel? (It shouldn’t be squishy.) How does the vehicle react when you put on the brakes? Does it pull to one side or the other? (It shouldn’t do that either.)
  • How it steers. Does the steering wheel vibrate?
  • How it tests the second time around. Take your time with inspection and thorough testing. There might be some issues that do not present itself on the first run.

Remember that when buying a used car, you came to make a business transaction and exchange your hard-earned money for a car; at the same time, your dealer wants to make a sale so it’s best to concentrate on facts and details since dealers might try to appeal to your emotions and impulses. Do your research well prior and be thorough with inspection; definitely do not quickly jump into buying. Take your time to make a decision. Weigh your options, compare and contrast. If you feel exhausted and overwhelmed by the process, take a break. It’s good to have fresh eyes and someone else (who isn’t the dealer) to give their two-cents. The important thing is to arrive at a decision where you will be happy and have no regrets about your purchase. Don’t worry about missing a great bargain either. A bargain will always be around, but you can’t easily take back a car that you’ve already bought. If you want to know more about used cars in Windsor, ask us about Dan Kane used cars.



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Car Trade-In 101: What You Need To Know When Trading-In Your Car

Car Trade-In 101: What You Need To Know When Trading-In Your Car

There are several ways to get rid of your car: You can post it on Kijiji and other buy and sell ad spots, put up a for sale sign outside your house, or do a car trade in with your local dealer. The best way to sell between these three options depends on your goals. If you want to get the most money out of a transaction, go with selling to an individual, however, if you have your eyes on a new set of wheels and want the hassle-free route, trading your car in is definitely something you should go with.

How to get ready for a trade-in

  • Price your car. Take your car to three or four used car dealerships that have your car model and ask for their price to give yourself an estimate. After your research you’ll have the maximum and minimum valuation for your car.
  • Make it saleable. Similar to selling a house, you need to give your car “curb appeal” to make it more attractive to buyers. Clean your car. An unkempt car can look older or less valuable. Same if the interior has an unpleasant odor. Be sure to remove any and all personal items or belongings. Basically, try to make it look as good and as new as possible.  
  • Look for the best deals. To get the best out of your trade-in, be sure to look around and compare interest rates between dealerships. Which dealership offers the lowest price on the new car that you want? Which one will get you the highest value for your trade-in? The best part is that you can use your research as a bargaining chip when negotiating prices later (see Offer and Negotiations Quick Tip on the next part of the article.)
  • Call first before going to a dealership.  It is wise to call first to get a feel of the negotiations that will and might take place. You can always begin by talking to or e-mailing the manager regarding the value of your trade-in before actually coming in for the rest of the negotiations. This way you’ll also be able to gauge whether you want to transact with a particular dealership by getting a feel of how they will be conducting the trade-in.

What to expect once at the dealership

  • Visual and records inspection. After taking down your information, a visual inspection will be done on your car and the vehicle identification number will be used to check the history database for your car records. It is also likely that they will conduct a more thorough inspection of your car’s condition. Inspection of mechanical parts such as the tires, fluids, brakes, and others is not uncommon and a test spin could even be done to asses the car before an offer is put on the table.
  • Offer and negotiations. Here is where your earlier research will come into play. The offer you receive will depend on several factors (like the condition of your car, repairs needed) but you can start negotiations by giving the dealer the maximum realistic value of your car (a.k.a the price quotes other auto-dealers have given you.)

Quick tip: At what number is the dealership willing to buy your car if you weren’t seeking a trade-in? This should be the same amount that they’d give even if you are ‘just trading-in.’ If the prices aren’t the same, make sure the dealership has a reasonable explanation for it. Otherwise they might just be trying to get you to trade-in for a lower value.  

Final Considerations

  • Try for a more expensive car. It might not seem like a good play, but for many dealerships, you can get more bang for your trade-in by choosing a more expensive car than you would picking a cheaper model.
  • Trade-in toward the end of the year. Months towards the end of the year is when dealerships roll in the new inventory of cars. If the car you want is from the previous year’s model, you might be able to trade-in for less.
  • Know the trade-in trends. Cars meant for the summer sell less in the winter, and cars made for winter sell less in the summer so timing your trade-in can be an advantage. Another trend tip: You might want to watch the price of gas. Truck and SUV prices typically go down when gas prices go up (because more fuel-efficient cars are more in demand.

It’s good to remember that you don’t have to and shouldn’t have to trade-in if the offer doesn’t sit well with you. Try to negotiate to get as close as possible to the number you want but at the same time, expect small variance in the offers that different dealerships will give you. If you’re trying to research your car value Ontario, give us a call.

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