It’s time to get winter tires — because it may take longer to get them

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — This week’s cold weather is a reminder that your car needs to be ready for the winter season.

Colorado has traction laws meant to improve safety conditions in the mountains.

A pandemic-related tire shortage that started to develop two months ago may cause delays for some drivers. Experts tell the Problem Solvers that appointments for winter tires should be made as soon as possible to avoid long wait times.

“There’s just not as many people there to produce tires, getting them shipped. There’s a lot of tires sitting in containers out on the ocean,” James Gould of Big O Tires said.

Big O Tires was able to order enough inventory ahead of time and is prepared to handle increased customer demand, but Gould advises drivers to make an appointment as soon as possible before the end of the year rush.

The pandemic has also caused the need for additional employees this season. Gould says Big O Tires is hiring. Visit the company website for information on how to apply.

How to choose winter tires in Colorado

When selecting winter tires, it’s important to look for the proper symbol.

“Look on the side: You’re going to see what looks like a mountain with a snowflake. That’s how the tire is rated for winter weather, and highway patrol will not give you a ticket,” Gould said.

Gould said that cooler fall temperatures are appropriate for winter tires.

“A snow tire or a winter tire is a softer compound which keeps it more pliable, so it’s able to form to the road and keep traction for you,” he said.

Experts say to determine if it’s time for a new set of tires, rather than using a coin to measure wear and tear, look at your tire’s built-in low tread indicator or let your mechanic or a tire shop professional use a special measuring tool for accuracy.

The cost of a good snow tire can range between $100 to $150, which many drivers compare to the cost of a tow on a cold mountain road.

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