How To Get Ahead Of Your Winter Tire Changeover
By Integra Tire Canada
It’s that time of the year; before you know it, the temperature will be dropping, and the snow will be falling. Winter tires are critical to the safety of your vehicle and are a must for most Canadian cities. With kids going back to school, sports and activities resuming, and the hustle and bustle of life in the fall, you may not be thinking about your tires; however, if you’re planning on waiting until the last minute to book a tire changeover, think twice. Most tire shops are inundated with requests for appointments last minute. You may be waiting for 2 or 3 weeks for an appointment, all while driving in unsafe conditions. In this guide, we’ll discuss some ways you can get ahead of the winter changeover rush and be ready to take on everything winter throws at you.
Use Tire Storage
Some local Integra Tires offer seasonal tire storage. This means we will store your all-season tires in the winter and store your winter tires from spring to fall. You will not have to worry about transporting your tires or storing an additional set of tires all year, taking up space and making a mess; however, what’s more important is that your local Integra Tire will call ahead of time to book in your changeover. Additionally, your seasonal tires will be inspected before and after they are stored – meaning any issues with your tires or replacements can be addressed before it is too late. Much of what is discussed in this guide can be avoided if you use seasonal tire storage through Integra Tire.
Your tires will be securely labeled, entered into a storage system either locally or via a third-party warehouse, and returned back to your store for changeover at the right time. If you have questions about how tire storage works, contact your local Integra Tire.
Inspect Your Winter Tires
If you are currently storing your own tires, pull them out of storage and inspect them at least 4 weeks before snow falls. This will give you time to ensure that every tire is in the proper condition to be installed on your vehicle. If there are any issues, you will be able to contact your local Integra Tire to purchase a replacement tire or tires. Some things to be aware of when inspecting your winters tires are as follows:
- Check the tread depth. Tires should have at least 5/32 inches tread depth, especially in winter conditions. The tread design of your tires is what is responsible for evacuating snow and ice and biting into the road surface. If you have no tread, this is not possible.
- Look for punctures and foreign objects. Inspect for any signs of puncture, such as holes and even foreign objects like nails, screws, or glass. This is often easier to see foreign objects before your tires are mounted, although be aware that some punctures are not visible to the naked eye.
- Check for dry rot and cracks. Cracks on a tire are considered dry rot – a sign that your tire rubber is beginning to break down. Tires only have a usage life of about six years, so consider replacing older sets of tires.
If You Need New Winter Tires, Start Looking Early
If you will need a new set of winter tires, you should begin your search early. Not only do tire shops book early, but suppliers often face a high demand for some models of winter tires in the fall and early winter. If you plan on doing research online, you can begin with our online tire quoting tool. Be aware that just because a set of tires is classified as winter, and fits your vehicle, it does not mean they will be the right fit for you. The best tires for you will be a set that matches your driving style, the type of roads you face, your climate, and your budget.
For example, someone who lives in Vancouver and faces very mild winter/occasional snow fall will have different needs than someone living in the Northern Alberta back country. Online tire selectors do not take these factors into account. If you are unsure of what tire model you need and don’t have time to do extensive research, contact your local Integra Tire and a service advisor will help you decide.
Book An Appointment Early
It’s hard to time your winter changeover perfectly with the snow fall – if you change over to your winter tires too early, you risk prematurely wearing them. If you wait too long, you risk being stuck in all-season tires in snowy conditions. Winter tires should be installed if the temperature is consistently below 7 degrees Celsius.
Generally, Canada sees these temperatures, along with snow, around mid-late October. To give yourself at least 2 weeks, we recommend contacting your local Integra Tire near late September to discuss changeovers.
Keep an eye on the 14-day weather forecast, and contact your local Integra Tire for more information on the outlook.
Questions? Our Advisors are Happy to Help!If you have questions about anything you've read in this resource page, contact your nearest Integra Tire dealer for more information. We are passionate in assisting our customers make the best choices to keep their vehicles in tip-top shape and keep their families safe.
About UsIntegra Tire is a network of independent tire, automotive, and maintenance dealers across Canada.