Northern Idaho tire stores bustle as snow approaches

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Friday morning snowfall meant tire and auto shops were packed with customers looking to swap their summer treads for winter studs.

HAYDEN, Idaho — It’s only been a few days since the last Jack-o-lantern candles were blown out and Old Man Winter made his first appearance.

Friday morning snowfall meant tire and auto shops were packed with customers looking to swap their summer treads for winter studs, as reported by our media partners, the Heart from Alene Press.

“We’re busy,” Kevin Johnson, manager of the Coeur d’Alene Les Schwab Tire Center store, told The Press. “We take care of the community like we do every year.”

He said his store is fully staffed with tire and alignment center employees ready to serve. While he couldn’t give a wait time as each vehicle’s needs vary, he said those who are able to drop off their car in the morning should give the store at least a day or a day and a half to finish the job.

“With appointments, we try to get them done first. The people waiting here, we get them done next. The excess work goes overnight,” Johnson said.

“It’s a time of year when we work in extreme conditions,” he continued. “Be patient. We’re doing our best. We understand their anxiety, but we’ve been doing this for a long time. Plan ahead, schedule some sort of wait or ride, drop it off and we’ll call you when it’s over. is made.”

Coeur d’Alene climatologist Cliff Harris said he measured 3.7 inches of snow Friday before it turned to rain. And it rained for much of the day, dropping over an inch.

Hayden resident Richard Dance said he visited a Hayden tire shop 30 minutes before it opened on Friday and was fifth in a line of about 20 people.

“The whole parking lot was full of cars left over from previous days,” he said. “When the manager opened at 8am he said he couldn’t make appointments and was overbooked and understaffed.”

Dance said the manager said the store stayed open until around 11:30 p.m. Thursday and even later the day before.

“I think their posted closing time is 6 p.m.,” he said. “If you go online, the next available date is November 29.”

Jeff Hildesheim, parts sales specialist at Knudtsen Chevrolet in Post Falls, said that while the dealership isn’t a tire store, it’s been busy with tire appointments.

“It’s your typical first day of snow. It only snows once a year in Idaho,” he said with a laugh. “It happens every year, but some people don’t expect it.”

Snow tire wisdom he shared: “Be patient.”

“Go with the flow,” Hildesheim said. “Tires are a supply problem at the moment. You have to understand and have a bit of patience.”

The Presses du Coeur d’Alène are information partners of KREM 2. To find out more about our partners, Click here.

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