By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Snow over the weekend prompted the seasonal rush on tire shops as drivers begin switching to winter tires.
Tire stores that accept reservations are already booked out days and, in some instances, weeks in advance.
“You can see the phones start ringing when the snow starts flying,” said Travis Cook, owner of Goodyear Auto Care on South Highway 97 in Bend. “Once it starts flying, you know it’s going to get busy especially those first few nights when it freezes and it’s slippery out on the roads. Makes it crazy.”
Tire shops are slammed right now and will be busier after November 1st when studded tires are legal for use.
“Call in advance, schedule an appointment. Make sure you give us enough notice. It can be a day or two. It can be a week out, depending on time of year and the weather,” Cook said. “Call in over the phone. We schedule appointments. We book it for a certain time. We usually tell people a half hour to 45 minutes to get it done.”
Les Schwab Tires encourages online reservations for its winter tire changeover services, but don’t expect it to be too soon.
Attempts to book online with Les Schwab showed the earliest possible dates of:
S. HWY 97: Nov. 20 (one appt.)
Hunnell Road: Nov. 25
Franklin Ave.: Nov. 23
Redmond: Nov. 23
Sisters: Nov. 10th (one appt.)
Prineville: Nov. 4 (some appts are available ahead of the changeover date of Nov. 1)
Due to the coronavirus, Discount Tire has a drive-up check-in station and limits the number of customers in its showroom.
That leaves many customers waiting in the parking lot, which is where we encountered Mike Setzer.
I’ve only waited for maybe 20 minutes. They are going to get it in there soon,” Setzer said. “The volume that they are doing here is amazing. I got told this morning they had 100 appointments.”
Other tire stores are first-come-first-serve.
You leave your car and pick it up when it’s ready, sometimes hours later.
“I’ve been doing this for 28 years,” Cook said. “From what it was back then, we used to have people just walk in, no problem. Now it’s like, schedule it out as best you can. We have limited parking too, so that makes it difficult.”
Folks who don’t have appointments and try walking in during the winter tire changeover season could get lucky and be taken care of in as little as 40 minutes.
But the average wait time is four hours.