First snow brings winter tire change to Interior

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 3:38 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The snow has fallen, and it’s that time once again when people across the state of Alaska start thinking about winter tires.

In Alaska, residents North of the 60th parallel are able to switch over to studded tires on paved highway or roads from September 15th through May 1st.

For those living south of that latitude, the date to put tires on will start October 1st.

Jim Tewalt is the Store Manager at American Tire and Auto in Fairbanks, and this is a busy time of year with last minute change-overs. “Seems like everybody is (in a rush), It’s the first snow and it just goes crazy.”

Tewalt explained that certain studless winter tires and those that are studded are both considered winter tires, adding that most customers are interested in the all season Blizzak Tires. “The studless winter tire has become more popular winter tire. Studded tires are still out there, and they are just not near popular any more.

When it comes to finding what is a good fit for your car and lifestyle, Tewalt says it doesn’t hurt to do a little research first. “The more pumps for square inch you have, the better adhesion you are going to get to the road. It’s how they design the compound of the tread is what gives that tire that extra traction.”

For many, purchasing tires can be an investment. To ensure they last through the seasons Tewalt says storage off season is important. A cool, dry, dark area can help to put a more miles on your tires - and if you can, place them in bags. “Some people will just throw them underneath their deck in the elements, and that’s going to make the aging and the deterioration of the tire happen more rapidly.”

For those looking to get winter tires on during the first snow rush, Tewalt recommended making appointments early, and being patient during the rush.

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