Cold snap sends Utah drivers rushing for car servicing

SALT LAKE CITY — An early blast of winter has drivers dashing in for car services, leaving shops to try and keep up with high demand.

Since Monday, every single one of the 20 service bays at Big O Tires in Salt Lake City has been filled.

“For the last few days we’ve probably serviced between a hundred and 120 cars, it’s just been insane,” chuckled sales representative Colton Malherbe.

Take a look at the parking lot, it’s more of the same.

“There’s a line of cars all the way out the gate,” Malherbe added as he pointed to the back of the parking lot.

Fully staffed, the shop has worked countless hours to try and keep up with unexpectedly high demand.

“We’ve had multiple hours of waiting times, we were here until 8 o’clock last night, on Monday night as well, we don’t know how long we’ll be here tonight,” said Malherbe.

They said they typically do not see this type of rush for service until late November, but with an early season blast of winter — people have scrambled to get appointments.

“Having such an early winter a lot of people are kind of in panic mode,” said Malherbe. “It’s totally unexpected, nobody’s prepared really for it.”

Big O said they have seen requests of all kinds, but every driver should be doing basic checks every year to ensure they are prepared and most importantly, safe.

“Tires for your safety, check your fluid levels, make sure your coolant has the proper freezing temperatures, get your air pressure checked properly, test your battery — a battery is a big thing that can cause you problems and leave you stranded,” Malherbe said.

Tire changes and inspections have been the most popular request — however, they say anytime the temperature drops below 50 degrees, you should be looking to do the same.

“Anytime the average temperature is going to be below 50 degrees you should consider switching to winter tires or at least start getting them checked,” Malherbe said. “Once the snow starts flying, it comes in all or nothing and we end up getting really swamped, then it gets really difficult to get tires.”

Once this cold snap passes, their advice is to get your car in, so your not stuck waiting in even longer lines a month from now. If funds are a concern, Big O Tires offers a free multi-point inspection.

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