Winter Tires: Do The Right Thing

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There is no room for cutting corners and compromising safety in our industry.

Winter selling season presents the best opportunity to sell sets of four tires, and to sell wheels, TPMS, etc. No other season presents this wealth of selling opportunities.

Entering the season of maximum opportunity, I make one request to tire retailers: Do the right thing.

Stock the right tires

With winter tires, you don’t have to worry about the OE brands for various cars. It’s easy for you to stock winter tires. Focus on the popular sizes. You know the cars that come through your service bays, so stock the popular sizes for those cars.

This also applies to wheels, TPMS, and other products. Many consumers are last-minute shoppers, creating the rush and the lines at the counter. With tires in stock you can act quickly and handle the rush more efficiently. Be prepared with the right stock… do the right thing.

While you don’t need to have the OE brand for the car, you must ensure that you are installing the correct tire. Do not replace an Extra Load OE tire with a Standard Load winter tire. If you get a Nissan NV200 van or Chevrolet City Express van, they use Euro Commercial Light Truck tires 185/60R15C 94/92T Load Range C. Do not install Passenger Winter Tires 185/60R15 84T or 185/60R15 88T XL as it is wrong and dangerous. Only install the correct tire… do the right thing.

If the consumer is buying winter tires and winter wheels, there may be an opportunity to downsize, subject to brake clearance, etc. When downsizing, research the car manufacturer’s guidelines for downsizing or look at the tire guide for the approved sizes for the vehicle. The wrong size can negatively affect the handling of the vehicle and the stopping distances, etc. The wrong size can be dangerous. Only downsize within the parameters for the vehicle… do the right thing.

Speed ratings on winter tires are important. Any excessive reduction from the OE speed rating can compromise the performance and safety of the vehicle. If the vehicle is equipped with W or Y Speed Rated OE tires, installing a T Speed Rated winter tire will have a negative effect on the handling and braking of the vehicle. On dry and sunny days in winter the consumer will drive just as they drive in the summer. Do not install tires that will radically degrade the handling and braking of the vehicle… do the right thing.

Don’t sacrifice safety

Say you live in a 10th floor condo. Your balcony railing is 42” high as stipulated by the building code for safety. Would you replace the 42” railing with a 36” railing to save some money as it is close enough, nobody will know the difference and nothing will happen? Would you do this knowing that your family, your children, use the balcony every day? The correct railing for safety, the correct tire for safety… do the right thing.

Take pride in what you do. Research what is right. What was right 10 years ago may not be right today. Cars and tires have changed. Refuse to do the wrong thing… do the right thing.

I leave you with this quote: “The final decision to install a tire on a vehicle will be made by the Costco Tire Centre manager or supervisor. The tire must meet all vehicle manufacturer’s safety standards and specifications.” This is visible online at costco.ca/tire-disclaimer.html.

Do the right thing.

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