Many Red Deerians are looking to change the tires on their vehicles after the first snowfall of the season, says the co-owner of one local business.
“We’re swamped right now. We’re pretty booked up for two-and-a-half weeks, or three weeks,” said Diarmuid Kelly, with Red Deer Mobile Tire, a family owned business.
Kelly said car owners typically get a seasonal tire change following the first snowfall.
“It’s been that way forever. I don’t think that will ever change, to be honest with you. It’s the nature of the business and that’s how it’s always been,” he said.
There isn’t necessarily an exact time drivers should get a tire change, he said.
“It’s different every year,” he said, adding September and October are typically the months people should consider getting a seasonal tire change.
The Kelly family has operated the mobile tire franchise since 2013. They change tires at people’s homes, rather than operating a garage.
Winter tires have many benefits, said Kelly.
“They have a special compound in the tire that keeps the rubber soft, which allows you to brake substantially better. It provides way more handling and control.
“When you apply the brakes, those little blocks open up and they’re like little teeth or claws that grab the road. The all-season tires won’t have as many, and those blocks don’t break up as much.”
Winter tires should last three or four years, he said, adding it’s important to drive safely regardless of what type of tires are on a vehicle.
“Just because you have winter tires on, doesn’t mean you’re bulletproof. You still have to drive to the conditions, give yourself some space between each other, stay safe and slow down on the highways, for sure,” he said.
The Alberta Motor Association suggests drivers should consider swapping to winter tires when the average temperature dips below 7 C.
Tires that are already mounted on rims are faster, and usually less expensive, to change, according to the AMA website.
They also lengthen the life of your summer wheels by not having them exposed to salt, gravel and scrapes of winter.