Cheapest isn’t always best: Why you should invest in a licensed professional for your seasonal tire changes

Dear Mike,

Winter is coming and I need to put on my snow tires ASAP. However, I’m on a tight budget and I’m wondering where I can get them put on for the cheapest price possible. Do you have any recommendations for places that offer affordable tire mounting services?


Dear Landon,

I’m glad you’re thinking about getting those snow tires on ASAP. I know that budget can be a concern when it comes to seasonal tire changes, but let me tell you that going for the cheapest price possible can end up costing you a lot more in the long run.

As you mentioned, many people will seek the help of a “handy” friend or family member to change their seasonal tires. While this might seem like a great opportunity to save money upfront, it could ultimately cost you or someone else in their life. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard about wheels coming off of vehicles during seasonal tire changes, and the reason is often because unqualified individuals are installing tires.

The entire weight of your vehicle its occupants and cargo rely on the tires that are on the four corners of it. Each of these wheels is designed to be torqued to a specific tightness to hold the wheel on the vehicle consistently. The wheels need to be inspected properly to check for anything that could be potentially hazardous.

Would you let a random person perform surgery on you just because they offered to do it for a cheap price? Of course not! So why would you let an unqualified individual work on your vehicle, which can be just as risky?

Believe it or not, over-tightening wheel bolts can be just as bad as under-tightening, especially if you have wheel locks on expensive aluminum rims. And if you’re not careful during the tire change, you run the risk of doing serious damage to the wheels themselves and the rest of the braking system. Professional and licensed service providers may charge a little bit more, but they know what they’re doing, and they do it right.

I advise you to look for a licensed and reputable service provider. While the cost may be higher, it’s important to know that they know exactly what to look for, can advise you on any issues they see, will properly balance the wheels on a dynamic balancer before installing them on your vehicle, and will properly clean and bag the tires that you are looking to put into storage.

I understand that you are on a budget but trust me when I say that paying for a licensed service provider to do a proper seasonal tire change is a wise investment that can save you money in the long run. So be safe, and let the professionals, like my team at Urban Automotive, handle your seasonal tire change.

Stay safe this winter, Landon!

Best regards,

Mike Urban.