3 Things to Know About Switching Out Your Winter Tires

winter tire swap service in fort collins co

Spring is here and it's time for your winter tire swap or changeover


Understanding tires can at first seem overwhelming. There are a lot of options and information to keep straight. Breaking down the categories and types of tires helps you to see what your options are. For typical commuting, most drivers opt for Summer, All-Season, M+S (mud and snow) and/or Snow tires. When deciding which tires to use in Colorado, there are some things to keep in mind.

All-season tires simplify the decision of what tires to get and are sufficient for general driving in Colorado year-round. However, more specialized tires do in fact perform better under certain driving conditions. People who do off-road driving, mountain driving, or prefer a better performing tire for peace-of-mind and safety sometimes opt for Winter or M+S tires to be swapped out seasonally.

A tire swap is necessary when you use specialized winter or seasonal tires on your vehicle. And spring is the time of year to swap them out!

Winter tires (delineated by a snowflake symbol) differ from summer or all-season tires in that they are designed specifically for winter driving. They boast deeper treads than any other type of tire. And they’re made with special rubber that is resilient to low temperatures. Using winter tires outside of cold winter months overheats the rubber and degrades the integrity of the tire, shortening the tire’s life. Winter tires also come in the “studded” option. It’s especially important to remove studded winter tires if there is no snow on the ground because they can cause damage to the road.

Also keep in mind that even with 2WD vehicles, winter tires should always be installed on all four wheels--it’s always better that your tires match! Mismatched tires can cause alignment and suspension issues.

You want to avoid shortening the life of your tires (neglecting or failing to remember to swap out your tires can end up costing your more than $500 between tire purchases!) Here are three things to know come the time for your winter tire swap.

1. There are two ways to go about it: a tire changeover and a tire swap


A tire swap and tire changeover are two different services that accomplish the same task of replacing seasonal tires. Here’s the difference: a tire swap happens when you have two sets of mounted wheels and tires and a tire changeover takes place when you have one set of wheels and two sets of tires. In this case, we need to remove and mount your winter or summer tires on the one set of wheels you have. This process is more in depth and especially necessary to take your vehicle to a qualified shop to perform. Imagine removing a tire from a wheel… it requires a machine, special tools and know-how.  


2. Wheel balancing is a good idea


Wheel balancing involves adjusting and applying weights to the wheel so that the tire and wheel are equally balanced as to provide a smooth and comfy ride. Especially with tire changeovers, wheel balancing is an important step that is sometimes missed or unconsidered when talking about winter tire swaps. Many drivers don’t even know it’s a thing and are unaware of its importance. When wheels are out of balance, it can cause a slight or major vibration when driving at all or certain speeds--it’s especially noticeable on the highway.


3. Our tire swap and changeover service is comprehensive

Your winter tire swap or changeover at Community Auto includes everything needed to get the job done right including tire swap or changeover, tire inspection, tire pressure check and wheel balancing. There’s no need to worry when it’s in our hands. Schedule an appointment today for your winter tire swap or changeover.

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