Winter Tire Advice – SWAP or CHANGEOVER which one are you?

September 23rd, 2021 by

So, what’s the difference between a TIRE SWAP and a TIRE CHANGEOVER, anyway? Many people don’t know the difference or why one variation may make more sense than the other.

TIRE CHANGEOVER (4 tires, 2 wheels)

This variation involves only ONE set of wheels and TWO sets of tires. This means that every spring and fall, the tires are replaced with a seasonally appropriate set. In the fall, the summer tires are pulled off the wheels and winter tires are installed. In the spring, the reverse happens.

  • This option is initially less expensive because you only need one set of wheels, but eventually, you do end up paying more money because you pay for the labour to remove and remount tires twice a year.
  • CHANGEOVER TIRES now need to be checked for proper balance and tire wear before being re-installed.












TIRE SWAP ( 4 tires, 4 wheels)

This involves two sets of wheels and two sets of tires. Essentially, the driver has chosen to have one mounted tire and wheel setup for the warm months and a second mounted set of tires and wheels for the cold months. Most often, the vehicles’ original “pretty” tires and wheels are used during the warm months and a more functional, but not as pretty set is purchased to take on winter driving conditions.

  • This option is initially more expensive because you need two full sets of wheels, but history has proven that this becomes less expensive than the first option over time.
  • SWAPPED TIRES also need to be checked for irregular wear patterns such as inside or outside rubber wear before they get remounted. If a professional technician discovers signs of irregular tread wear, this should be recorded on the service order along with the recommendation of a four-wheel alignment.

No matter which variation you’ve chosen now is the time to make an appointment. It’s necessary to get your winter tires off before the warmer weather prematurely wears them out.

Remember: Winter tires are designed for temperatures under 7 degrees Celsius. They’re made of very soft compounds that can remain flexible, and provide excellent traction, even in sub-zero temperatures. If left on in temperatures over 7 degrees Celsius, the much softer compounds will wear at a much faster rate – costing you money.

Irregular wear patterns indicate your vehicle’s wheels are no longer properly aligned. This means that instead of all four tires pointing perfectly straight, one or more are now turned off-centre, which is like having two or more tires trying to go in different directions at the same time! It’s not safe and it’s also very expensive because you will quickly ruin the tread of your tires and need to replace them much more often.

The issue could be minor and involve just realigning the steering and suspension parts in your car, or it could be an indication of something much more serious in which one or more of those steering and suspension parts may need replacement. In either case, the condition will never “heal itself” and must be looked at immediately. Remember: no matter what the cost is to realign your vehicle, it’s always cheaper than ignoring it. And more importantly – it’s much MUCH safer too!

If you’re interested in arranging a TIRE SWAP or TIRE CHANGEOVER service, please click below. Depending on current conditions, traditional services may not be available so we’ll contact you to discuss how we can best serve your needs. Thank you in advance for your understanding and patience.


Posted in Winter Tires