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Drivers scramble to tire shops to get winter tread

LOWER MAINLAND (NEWS1130) – If you’re trying to fit in an appointment to get your winter tires put on, good luck! With today’s snow, you can expect Metro Vancouver tire shops to be extra busy this week.

Once the snow hit the ground, customers at Fountain Tire on Clark Drive in East Vancouver started lining up to get the right tread for the conditions.

Owner Tom Irving says a lot of people think they don’t need them, and that’s just wrong.

“It’s funny because in the shop here, we always get told, ‘Oh, I’m from back east and I know how to drive in the snow.’ Nobody from back east knows how to drive in the snow we get in Vancouver. When you get your two or three inches of snow with slush and then it freezes,” explains Irving.

He’s urging people to get winter tires, even if it means trying to fit an extra appointment here and there, but not everyone gets the message.

“Most people do not have winter tires on their car and they don’t want to get caught between Christmas and New Years, not being able to drive around,” warns Irving.

Some people wait until the last minute, hoping they can get away without them, but we found some customers who aren’t taking any chances.

“My old ones were almost going to blow out; my old ones were at the end of their life,” says one woman.

Mike puts them on every year at this time to keep his family safe. “It’s just something you should do before the Christmas season; bring it in to the tire store and check the winter rating… and if they need replacing, it’s part of doing business.”

Many customers say they like having them for everyday driving, while others say it’s a must for holiday trips to the ski hill and the interior.