A lot of Canadians choose to invest in a second set of rims for winter use only, but is it really worth it? Why should you do it?
1. To Save Money
To determine if an extra set of wheels is a good investment in your particular situation, you should start by asking yourself one question: How long are you going to keep your vehicle? If you plan on keeping the same car for at least three years, then a second set of rims is certainly worth the expense. The reason is quite simple. With this extra set of wheels, you won’t have to pay for mounting and balancing every season, which costs $70-$120 (depending on your location) twice a year. Furthermore, with a winter-dedicated set of rims, it’ll cost you only $25-$30 to have them installed on your vehicle and you’ll spend less time at the shop! At the end of the day, you’ll end up saving twice a year. And after three years, your investment will pay off.
These days, most new vehicles are sold with large alloy wheels. These rims have a big diameter which means they require big (and often expensive) tires. If you decide to purchase a second set of rims for winter, you can go for smaller wheels that’ll fit with smaller tires, which are generally cheaper. You can also choose steel wheels, a cheap alternative, which is quite popular during winter in Eastern Canada.
Here’s a simple calculation to demonstrate how an extra set of wheels can help you save money:
A. With one set of wheels:
Average cost for mounting, dismounting and balancing x Times per year x Number of years with the same
$70 x 2 x 5 = $700
B. With two sets of wheels:
Average cost for 4 steel wheels + (Average cost for changing wheels x Times per year x Number of years
with the same vehicle)
$225 + ($25 x 2 x 5) = $475
> Savings of $225 after 5 years
2. To Avoid Damaging Your Tires
Purchasing an extra set of rims for winter will also help you keep your winter tires in good shape. Mounting and dismounting every season leads to premature wear on the tire bead, causing a higher risk of air pressure leak. Having a second set of wheels automatically lowers the number of manipulation of your eight tires and prevents them from wearing or tearing prematurely.
3. To Avoid Damaging Your Wheels
Winter can be pretty rough on wheels. Of course, if your car is equipped with steel wheels, you don’t have much to worry about, but if you are driving with alloy wheels, think twice. If you plan on keeping the same set of wheels on your vehicle all year, choose a finish that’ll resist winter conditions. Some wheels can easily be damaged by snow, salt and dirt while others are perfectly adapted to our harsh winters.
In conclusion, getting a second set of wheels for winter is an excellent decision if you plan on driving the same vehicle for over three years. Although it might seem like a big expense at first, this extra set of rims will make your life a whole lot simpler, minimize the wear of your tires and wheels and help you save money.