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Winter Tires - How to Purchase and Maintain them (Part 2 of a 3 Part Series)

posted by Preferred Collision and Glass    |   March 10, 2014 13:20


Buying your winter tires is an important choice which should be made with careful consideration.  Upon buying them, you must also maintain them, which is another important consideration.  During this segment, we want to offer you some collected wisdom that we’ve gathered from all over the place that we personally swear by, if you’re ever in need of purchasing or maintenance advice.  Also in our tips are some common sense strategies that will hopefully have an effect on winter driving in general, and getting used to your winter tires.

1.  All-season tires are a bad compromise. On snow, ice or cold pavement, the stopping distance of a car that has winter tires can be up to 30 to 40 per cent shorter than one with all-seasons.  The force of a crash increases as a result of the square impact of speed, and this could mean the difference between life and death.

2. Although it’s the treads that a customer buying tires usually notices, the most important part of a winter tire is actually the rubber compound that it is made up of.  This rubber compound is designed to stay soft in freezing temperatures. Similar to a gecko climbing a sheet of glass, a winter tire sticks to the road by conforming to tiny imperfections.  The weather transforms a summer tire’s consistency into that of a hockey puck.  The soft rubber treads of a winter tire are able to splay and wrap themselves around miniscule protrusions on cold pavement, or even on what appears to be ice that is perfectly smooth. Summer tires, which have been designed to operate in warm temperatures, harden as the temperature falls. Although all-season tires must be designed for year-round use, they cannot match winter tires in low temperatures.  They still hold a bit of rigidity in frigid weather, though not as much as summer tires, and cannot beat the snow tires’ elasticity, as well as the studs that snow tires can come with.

3. Premium winter tires perform better than basic models. What you’re paying for is the latest in rubber technology and tread design. What you get is traction that may be up to 15 per cent better than economy-model winter tires. (If you want to see the difference between different grades of winter tires, go to an ice race. Ian Law, an Ontario racer and winter driving instructor says, “The drivers with the premium tires are all out in front.  There’s no comparison.”)

4. It’s about temperature, not snow. Winter tires must be installed when the customer expects temperatures to fall to 7 C (that’s plus 7!) or below. As the temperature falls, the rubber in summer and all-season tires becomes inflexible, killing traction. Watch the thermometer and use common sense, because no one will tell you exactly when to put on snow tires (except in Quebec, where the law dictates that your car should be equipped with winter tires between Dec. 15 and March 15).

5. Winter tires should be narrower than summer models. Customers have expressed the thought that proper winter tires can look a little like spare tires.  Experts recommend going down one or two sizes when installing winter tires – if you car came with 215-millimetre wide summer or all-season tires, for example, your winter tires should be 205 mm or 195 mm. Reducing the width of a tire increases the pressure it exerts on the surface beneath it – this will help the tire slice through snow, and reduces hydroplaning.

6. Winter tires are designed to move water. When a tire presses down on snow or ice, it melts the top layer, which creates a thin film of water.  This is the same phenomenon that occurs as a skate glides across a rink, because of the friction created by movement. If the water isn’t moved away from the area in front of the tire, the car will hydroplane. This is why winter tires are covered with grooves (including tiny channels known as “sipes”) that move water away to the sides, allowing the tire to stay in contact with the surface.


7.  In the old days, winter tires came with deep, aggressive treads designed to paddle through deep snow. This made for a noisy ride and compromised stability, since the treads deflected under acceleration, braking and cornering loads. Current winter tire technology now focuses on shallower treads with closely spaced grooves that carry away the water film created when the tire presses down on ice or snow.

8. All-wheel drive helps you accelerate, not stop. On slippery surfaces, vehicles with four driving wheels can accelerate better than those with two-wheel drive. But their cornering and braking capabilities are little different than a two-wheel-drive model. When you’re trying to stop or turn, the limits are determined by the traction capabilities of your tires, not the number of driven wheels.

9. Black ice is not a death sentence. In the case of black ice, good winter tires will stick, but only if they are within their traction limits. If your car begins to slide, look straight down the road to where you need to go, and maintain a light grip on the wheel. As the car decelerates, you will gradually regain control as the tire’s rubber begins gripping surface imperfections on the ice. Slow speed and gentle control inputs will maintain traction.

10. The performance of winter tires has been significantly improved over the past decade by advanced rubber compounds that allow designers to make tires softer without sacrificing other critical properties, including wear and heat buildup as temperatures climb. Major manufacturers spend a lot of money on R&D. Jaap Leendertse, winter tire platform manager for Pirelli in Milan, Italy, has said that his company has developed more than 300 compounds in the ongoing quest for the ideal winter tire.

11. Although testing makes it easy to see the performance advantages of a winter tire, the technology behind it is deceptively complex. Tire designers must consider a long list of factors, including tread stability and hysteresis.  This is a process which generates heat as a tire repeatedly deforms and recovers as it rotates under the weight of a car.

 12.  Although they offer an advantage on glare ice, studded tires are far less effective than non-studded models on cold, bare pavement (where most drivers spend the majority of their time during the winter months).

13.  Some manufacturers offer winter tires that use rubber mixed with hard materials (like crushed walnut shells and chopped nylon strands) to give increased bite. Although these can offer improved traction in some conditions, the most important factors in a winter tire’s all-round grip are the quality of its rubber compound and its tread design.

14.  Although it’s not recommended for everyday driving, reducing the air pressure in your tires can help you gain in an emergency. Reducing tire pressure increases the tire’s contact patch, and may help you make it up an otherwise impassable icy grade, for example. Bear in mind that this is an emergency technique only, and will reduce overall control of your car by making the tire carcass less stable. Unless you’re stuck at the bottom of an icy hill with no other option, the inflation pressures recommended by your car manufacturer should be used. If lowering the tire pressure in a winter tire is needed to make it out of an emergency situation, be sure to drive slowly and re-inflate the tires back to the recommended pressure as soon as possible.  Driving with lowered tire pressure than is normal can be hazardous if maintained for too long of a period.





We hope you are never involved in a collision, but if you are, we are here to help, during and after your car has been fixed, with our Customer for Life program.  Please call us at 306-653-5655, or come down to the shop at 659 51st St E, so that we can help you out and get you back on the road.  Remember, we can’t prevent an accident, but we can make it like it never happened.     


Winter Tires – How to Purchase and Maintain Them (Part 1 of a 3-Part Series)

posted by Preferred Collision and Glass    |   February 26, 2014 08:40

When purchasing winter tires, the customer is often overwhelmed with decisions – the first of which is whether or not to purchase them in the first place.


Winter tires are costly, but well worth the investment. Built for all types of vehicles, these special tires allow the driver to deal with icy roads to reduce the chance of spinning out or fishtailing on corners. In hilly areas driving in winter can be a hazard as well, with snow and ice, and a nervous driver’s mind can be put better at ease knowing that their braking capacity is strengthened with winter tires, and that they will be able to stop at a shorter distance, to allow for the driver’s maximum reaction time.


Since the elasticity of regular all-season tires is decreased when the outside temperature drops below a certain point - 7°C/45°F –the customer can expect the performance of their all-season or summer tires to decrease as well. That being said, the customer can expect increased performance in their winter tires, because their winter tires are built differently, with a compound that maintains elasticity. This is crucial in a collision situation.

Transport Canada and the Rubber Association of Canada are advising motorists to always be mindful about safe driving in winter.

Vehicle handling is improved when tires of the same type, size, speed rating and load index are installed on all four wheels. View a demonstration video showcasing the benefits of using four winter tires of the same type, size, speed rating and load index by visiting visit

Snow Tires

Tires marked with the pictograph of a peaked mountain with a snowflake meet specific snow traction performance requirements, and have been designed specifically for use in severe snow conditions.


If you intend to drive in severe winter conditions, install four winter tires that meet the "snow tire" designation on your vehicle. These snow tires will assist you in controlling your vehicle safely in slippery conditions.

Tires marked "M + S" – or "mud and snow" tires, also known as "all-season" tires— continue to provide safe all-weather performance, but may not always be suitable for severe snow conditions. Wide, high performance tires, other than those that are specifically designed as snow tires, are not considered suitable for use on snow covered roads.

Which Snow Tires are Available (And Where)

You can contact tire dealers or manufacturers to obtain information on which models meet this new designation.

Please remember:

• Install four winter tires - To help maintain control and stability of your vehicle in icy conditions, Transport Canada and the Rubber Association of Canada recommend that you install winter tires in sets of four.

• Mixing tires with different tread patterns, internal construction, and size degrades the stability of the vehicle and should be avoided.

• As a tire wears, snow traction is reduced. Tires that are worn close to the tread-wear indicators have reduced traction and should not be used on snow-covered roads or in severe snow conditions, and should be replaced as soon as possible.

• Proper air pressure extends tread life, improves safety, and reduces fuel consumption — all vital factors in saving energy and protecting the environment. Tire pressure decreases as temperatures drop, so be sure to check the pressures at least once a month when the tires are cold, especially and preferably after the car has been out all night to get an accurate reading. (For more information on proper tire inflation, please see the publication “Riding on Air” at

If you have winter tires and still find yourself in a collision, Maaco Collision and Auto Repair will take care of all your car’s needs, during and after, with our Customer For Life program. Call us at (306) 653-5655 or visit us at, or come see us at 659 51st St E, so that we can help you get back on the road. Remember, we can’t prevent an accident, but we can make it like it never happened

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Collision Repair | News at Maaco Saskatoon

Meet all the awesome members of our team!

posted by Preferred Collision and Glass    |   February 7, 2014 15:48

Robin “Steve” Wakelin is our “go-to” guy here at Maaco Collision in Saskatoon. He really enjoys doing glass work and wants to continue with that. He’s our glass technician, putting in all the windows of the vehicles that we do here down at the shop.

Steve has done glass for two years now at Maaco, in addition to a few other jobs, detailing and automotive refinishing, sanding, polishing, and teardowns of vehicles that come through the shop. Steve took shop class in high school and through that, learned a lot about automotive finishing and wanted to continue that as a career.

Originally from North Battleford, he relocated to Saskatoon for work opportunities for himself and his family. Some of Steve’s hobbies are snowboarding, skateboarding, fishing, being outdoors, and a variety of country music.

If you want to get your windshield fixed by Steve, give us a call at 306-653-5655 at Maaco Collision and Auto Repair and we’ll schedule you an appointment.

What to do When You’re Involved in a Collision

posted by Preferred Collision and Glass    |   January 22, 2014 10:11



When experiencing a collision, sometimes life can become very stressful and overwhelming when you were least expecting it to.




 Sometimes they can occur when driving conditions are poor, such as when the roads are icy, when there is black ice present, and when there is a snowstorm, or when it is very windy. 




When traffic collisions seem to happen so quickly, it can be hard to recall the details later. 




The most important thing to do in the case of a traffic collision is to remain calm, although sometimes this is a task that is easier said than done.  If someone is hurt, if you think any other driver may be guilty of a Criminal Code offence, such as drunk driving, or if there is significant property damage, you must always call the police.


In the case of an accident, if no one is hurt please try to move your car to the side of the road where it will not obstruct traffic.  If your car is not mobile, simply turn on your hazard lights, or use cones, flares, or warning triangles.


At the time that the collision occurs write down as much information as you can about the accident so that you don’t forget it when you are asked to repeat it later.  When filing a claim with your local SGI insurance outlet, you will be asked at that time to recall details about the incident.  While speaking with the other driver or drivers, if one or more was involved, write down their contact information, such as name, phone number, and address, as well as their insurance broker if applicable, and if there were any witnesses, write down their information as well.  If you can, you may sketch the accident, noting the position and directions of the cars, or use a disposable camera if you have one. 


Though it can be difficult and stressful being in a car accident, remember that these accidents can and do happen to anyone.  Always be vigilant and watchful of unsafe road conditions, and do not drive if you do not feel comfortable doing so.  If you are involved in a collision, please call SGI.  Once SGI has done all the preliminary paperwork, Maaco can help you with all your collision repairs and needs.  Please call us at Maaco Collision Repair and Auto Painting at 306-653-5655, or simply bring your car down to the shop at 659 51st St E and we’ll handle the concerns of your vehicle.  We can’t prevent an accident, but we can make your vehicle look like one never happened.


Icy Road Conditions

posted by Preferred Collision and Glass    |   January 14, 2014 14:00

This time of year, road conditions-in Saskatoon and rural Saskatchewan-can be very icy and sometimes, it can even be tough to walk on the road without slipping and falling. Imagine what being on the road with a car is like! A car is both fragile and rugged. One wrong move on an icy road without the proper winter tires might have you in a fender-bender (or the ditch), but as well, a car must be winterized to survive in harsh winter weather conditions.

Driving on interchanges require extra-special attention and focus while driving, because these often get salted and sanded less frequently than other main roads. While driving on main roads, such as the downtown core, that are often frequented by pedestrians, take extra care and go slowly in these areas, as these are often the iciest of areas. Sometimes leaving a few minutes early for work in the morning will get you ahead of the morning traffic rush, but sometimes it’s also necessary, for driving slow on icy roads so you’re not in a collision.

When on an icy road, if you feel yourself start to skid, don’t brake and don’t panic. If it is slippery, make sure you pump your brakes, also called “threshold” braking, until you come to a complete stop. Trying to see where black ice is, which is invisible, can be hard to do, so please make an effort to drive slowly and carefully at all times.  Remember that if you are in a collision to remain calm.  Our next blog will be on what to do when you are in an accident, keep checking back for more great information.


If you are in a collision, Maaco Collision Repair will look after all your and your car’s needs, during and after, with our Customer For Life program. Give us a call at (306) 653-5655 or visit us at, so that we can help you out and get you back on the road. Remember, we can’t prevent an accident, but we can make it like it never happened.


Windshield Repair and Your Safety.

posted by Preferred Collision and Glass    |   May 28, 2013 16:00

 Cracks and chips in your windshield are dangerous.

Your windshield and other automotive glass are made of safety glass, which is specially formulated to break into tiny little pieces when it shatters so that any cuts sustained from the broken glass are very small.

Windshields also prevent people from being thrown from the vehicle in the event of an accident, support the roof and prevent a cave-in in a roll-over accident, and serve as a backboard for the deployment of passenger side air bags.

If left unrepaired, a crack or chip can severely compromise the glass. In fact, safety test results showed that a cracked or chipped windshield left unrepaired and exposed to the elements for just four months experiences total failure in impact testing.

That means in the event of an accident, a cracked or chipped windshield could break into large, jagged pieces, increasing the possibility that you could be cut badly and thrown from the vehicle. If you get into a roll-over accident with a compromised windshield, the roof could collapse and crush anyone inside. And an airbag deployment could shatter a damaged windshield and increase the likelihood that anyone sitting in the front passenger seat is partially ejected from the vehicle.

However, even after months of exposure, when a chip or crack is repaired with our repair resin, the safety performance of the glass is restored to 100%. In most cases, the repaired glass is even stronger and the repair is barely visible.

Maaco Collision Repair always explores the repair option first to save you time and money, preserve the factory seal on your windshield, and keep this hard-to-recycle glass out of landfills. Request a windshield repair quote today, contact Maaco Collision Repair.

Your auto glass repair or replacement may be covered by your insurance policy. Please contact your insurance provider for details. If your repair or replacement will be covered either totally or in part by your insurance company, please let us know when you call to make an appointment.

Maaco wants You to be a Customer for Life

posted by Preferred Collision and Glass    |   April 17, 2013 15:18

Have you ever had work done at any repair facility and that was it.  You paid your bill the work was great and then… nothing.  Well, we feel different about customer satisfaction and service than anyone else.

Beginning April 2, 2013 qualifying customers can have their vehicle cleaned up for free for as long as they own a car.


If you have had an accident and have your vehicle repaired at Maaco Collision Saskatoon, you may never have to pay for a cleanup again.

That’s right, qualifying customers will receive a cleanup of their vehicle twice a year for as long as they have a vehicle, at NO CHARGE!  We will take out your garbage, blow out your vents, wipe down your interior, vacuum and wash your vehicle, even the tires.  We will also look over your vehicle and let you know if we find anything that needs your attention.

Just think you can get us to clean your car after a long Saskatchewan winter or after that long summer road trip with the family.  Just one more reason to choose Maaco Collision Repair as your accredited collision repair shop of choice.
Stop by Maaco Collision Repair Saskatoon for a complete list of terms and conditions.
You’re going to Love the Work!

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News at Maaco Saskatoon

Importance of a Safe Windshield Installation

posted by Preferred Collision and Glass    |   April 14, 2013 14:56

You look through it every time you’re in a vehicle, but do you know how important the windshield is to your safety?

Not only does it protect you from the elements and road debris, it also keeps you from being ejected from the vehicle if you’re in an accident; it helps the air bags deploy as they’re supposed to; and it supports the roof of the vehicle in the event of a rollover. But in order to do its job effectively, your windshield has to be installed correctly.

The windshield in Jeanne Fransway’s vehicle wasn’t. And it’s a problem that's more common than you may realize, especially when the factory-installed windshield has been replaced.

That’s why Maaco Collision Repair focuses on repairing chips or cracks whenever possible. Repaired glass is even stronger at the point of repair, and by repairing the auto glass instead of replacing it, we can protect the integrity of the factory seal and keep your vehicle as safe as possible.

If the damage to your windshield can’t be repaired, our trained technicians will perform a complete cut out of the old adhesive, clean both the new glass and the windshield frame thoroughly, and apply a new, full layer of the correct adhesive when we replace the windshield to ensure it’s strong enough to keep you and your family safe.

Your auto glass repair or replacement may be covered by your insurance policy. Please contact your insurance provider for details. If your repair or replacement will be covered either totally or in part by your insurance company, please let us know when you call to make an appointment.


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