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VP Auto Tire Change

VP Auto Tire Change

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.

Call Now

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.”

Snow Tires

Snow Tires

VP Auto Snow Tires

Van Nyguen knows it’s a tough economy for Canadians. Money is tight and extra expenses can make a difficult month even harder for people trying to stay within a budget. Nyguen and his VP Auto partner Paul Le keep that in mind when dealing with their loyal customers at this important time of year. It may have been unseasonably hot in Guelph at the start of October, but one thing’s for sure – winter is coming.

VP Auto is gearing up for the inevitable rush of customers calling to get new snow tires or have their existing ones swapped in for seasonals. Nyguen knows how important it is to have that extra layer of safety. And it shouldn’t come at a steep price.

“People hesitate to spend more money on things given this economy and inflation,” says Nyguen. “But winter tires are a must where we live. We try to keep that in mind for our customers and don’t make much of a profit margin on new tires, because we’re more concerned with their safety. We feel every driver should have winter tires here in Ontario for peace of mind.

“I tell our customers that if you’re going to play soccer, you need cleats. You’ll just slip on the grass with regular running shoes. It’s the same with winter tires.”

Benefits

There are obvious reasons to choose snow tires in a cold climate like Southern Ontario. Traction is one. The deeper grooves in a snow tire allow your vehicle to handle better in inclement conditions. That just makes sense.

The tires also improve stopping distance. You have a better window to stop in time before contacting the car (or obstacle) ahead of you. Nyguen has a good tip about coming to a stop in snowy conditions.

“Some people automatically just want to slam on the brakes when driving in the snow,” he says. “But you’ll just slide doing that. It’s important to keep tapping the brakes when you have to come to a stop. That’s the safe way to do it. And winter tires help.”

Another benefit is having a less likely chance of getting your car stuck in the snow. Winter tires give you a big boost, meaning it’ll be rare you’ll have to call on those passing by to help with a push.

The Time is Now

Nyguen suggests getting your winter tire appointment booked approximately one month before the first snowfall, though it doesn’t hurt to get in a bit early for various reasons. One, it’s tough to judge when that snow will come. Also, it’s not going to hurt your tires to have them on early and get some extra mileage out of them without actual snow on the ground.

Most importantly, when the bad weather hits, there’s a crazy rush to book service appointments and far fewer openings.

“We prefer our customers to come early,” says Nyguen. “If you come too late and the snow has fallen, you’re at a greater risk of getting in an accident.

“It’s better to be prepared, especially if you have kids.”

Expected cost, longevity, and service times

Nyguen and Le are more concerned about their customers than they are making big profits on snow tires. They tell clients to expect a cost of about $120-$280 per tire, depending on the brand. VP Auto only uses brands they trust so whatever price range you fall in, feel secure that the tire is a good, reliable product.

“Tires are like clothing – some people prefer the big name,” says Nyguen. “But many of them are made by the same manufacturer and they come with the same warranty. So it’s a matter of choosing what is right for you.”

Regular-mileage drivers should get about three winters out of their snow tires. Expect two if you drive a lot or up to five if you drive very little.

At the moment, VP Auto can get you in for a winter tire appointment within about a week. And once you’re in for the service, it only takes about an hour or slightly more to swap out the seasonals. There are storage options available at the location, so you don’t have to take your tires with you.

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.”

Speedvale Auto Detailing Name Change.

In the near future, Speedvale Auto Detailing will be merging with VP Auto and will be renamed VP Auto Detailing.