Snow, snow, snow — something skiers and Instagram stories just can’t wait to see. But what about your tires? Are they ready for the upcoming winter?
I went to Big O’ Tires on State Street in Provo to find out what the deal really is with snow tires. I met Chris Bronson, a tire specialist of six years. He taught me the difference between normal tires and snow tires, prefacing the informative conversation with his personal experience, saying, “When I first learned about snow tires, I was like, ‘No way, no way they actually work.’”
He then proceeded to tell me the following: “With snow tires you see all these really skinny lines. This is the siping of the tire, and snow tires have a lot of them. If you can see with this one (pointing to a normal tire) there’s not that many, and you don’t really need that many for normal weather, but what a snow tire does is with all these lines right here, the siping, it really grips the snow really well.”
Then Chris showed me how to change tires — out in the shop.
At first, he used a machine that separated the tire from the rim. He then picked the two up together and set them on another machine where he used a bar to continue to separate the two. He then put his foot on a pedal and the machine that took the rim completely off.
Chris says once you’ve done a winter with snow tires there’s absolutely no looking back; it feels like you’re driving in summer.
And the best part of all of this — you can have them taken off and saved for the next winter if you don’t blow through them too fast.
Whether you are planning on switching out your tires or hoping to keep them through the winter, Utah Department of Transportation and Utah Highway Patrol are asking drivers to check their tires before the winter storms hit, and they might be coming faster than you think.