VP Auto Tire Change
Most households have a list of things to do with the end of winter approaching. Store all the toques and mitts, tackle that mess in the garage, and for those who were smart enough to think safety-first when navigating the roads during these cold months, swap out the winter tires for seasonals.
VP Auto Detailing is preparing for the big rush of customers ready to say goodbye to driving in the snow. VP co-owner Paul Le says that the steady stream of clients looking to change tires starts about mid-March and continues throughout April, depending on just how harsh the winter is.
“It’s around that time that people are feeling like Spring is almost here and Summer around the corner,” says Le. “It’s time to change the tires.”
As important as it is to avoid using seasonals in treacherous winter conditions, it’s also imperative to get the snow tires off before it gets too hot. Le says the rubber on those tires wears more in warmer conditions, which will shorten their lifespan by as much as a season or two. That simply costs you more money.
So timing is key. When the temperature starts to hit about 10 C consistently, your trusty seasonals should be on the vehicle.
It’s best to set up an early appointment for a tire change service because the last-minute rush is inevitable. VP is already taking calls to swap tires, the process of which varies in length depending on whether you have separate rims for each set of tires or if they require changing on one set of rims.
“Going from winter to seasonals, if they have separate rims, it only takes about 20 minutes,” says Le. “If we have to take the winter tires off and put them on the existing rim, and then balance them, the appointment is about 45 to 60 minutes.”
Le doesn’t necessarily recommend having separate rims, but it does save money overall considering the service with one set of rims is slightly more expensive. And turnaround times are obviously quicker.
Customers have the option to store their winter tires at VP for an additional cost, though space is at a premium right now. Inquire with the brass to see if there is any room available.
Bring in the new
Le and his staff are always willing to lend a hand if customers are in the market for a new set of seasonals. They prioritize fair pricing and pay close attention to the customer’s budget.
“We always present our customers looking to buy new tires with three options — the most affordable tire, a middle-tier tire, and something that’s a bit higher end,” he says. “The range of prices usually begins at about $120 per tire, then goes to $150, and finally $180 and up.
“We’ll try to help out as much as we can. I’ll go on our suppliers’ websites and see what rebates are available for the customer. Say they go with a set of Michelins, it could be $100 back, for example. They just need to fill out a form and the company will send a cheque for that rebate amount offered.”
Ready for Spring
So your seasonal tires are on, and warm-weather conditions are approaching. What else needs to be done? Le says it’s a smart idea to have them do a quick check of the whole vehicle. Oil, fluids, battery health, etc.
And to be proactive, consider an affordable rustproofing service.
“We’ll recommend rustproofing when a car is in to get tires changed,” Le says. “When it’s nice and dry, it’s a good time to do it. We use a coating underneath that can be applied yearly. If it’s still slushy outside, it can impact that undercoating.”
A Final Tip
You’ve made the commitment to get winter tires, and with that comes security. When the snowy season is winding down, what is the best time to have them removed? Pro tip – keep an eye out for the street sweepers.
“That’s the time to change your winter tires for the seasonals again,” he says. “The street sweepers are cleaning the salt off of the road and that’s an indication you can take the winter tires off and go back to seasonals.”