Spring has finally sprung across Canada, and the best time to remove your winter tires is when the temperature consistently stays above 7 degrees Celsius for three to five days in a row. While we may want to hold on to our umbrellas and rain boots for just a bit longer, now is the time to take off your winter tires and put them away into storage. Keep in mind that the tread pattern and rubber compound on winter tires are designed to handle snow, ice, and harsh road conditions. Warm weather wears winter tires faster than the cold so extend the lifespan of your tires by switching to all season tires in the spring.
The key difference between a tire changeover and tire swap depends if you have a set of winter tires on winter wheels. This will determine the type of service that is right for you and the cost. Long term vehicle owners may consider investing in a separate set of winter wheels because of savings in the long run from seasonal tire swap over services. The upfront cost may feel hefty in the first year, but you will begin to see the financial return in the coming seasons down the road.
If your tires are already on their own set of wheels, you’ll want to book a swap over as they are removed and kept together as a unit while your set of all season tires and wheels are reinstalled. This service is usually faster and will cost less.
A tire changeover will usually take longer than a swap, as winter tires are taken off the wheels, replaced with your all season tires, and then installed back onto those original wheels on your vehicle.
Tire balancing, inspections, and pressure check
Regardless of which tire service you require, all new, swapped or changeover tires need to be checked for proper balance and tire pressure. In addition, swapped tires should be checked for irregular wear patterns such as inside or outside rubber wear. If there are signs of irregular tread wear, this should be indicated on the repair order along with the recommendation of a four wheel alignment verification.
Experienced certified technicians will take the time to ensure parts are checked before performing an alignment, as a vehicle that has worn or loose parts cannot be aligned. This includes upper or lower ball joints, inner or outer tie rod ends, rack and pinion steering units or struts, and spring and mounting plates.
Whether you are looking for a tire changeover or swap over service, this is also a great time for preventive vehicle maintenance and cleaning to keep you on track for a safer drive for Spring and Summer.