Studded tire season approaches - with a twist

Added cost of tire pressure sensors could hit some drivers

Studded tire season approaches - with a twist

BEND, Ore. - Nov. 1 is fast approaching, the first legal day to have studded tires on your car, truck or SUV in the state of Oregon.

This year. tire stores will be checking for pressure sensors, and it could be spendy to get them installed or fixed.

Some stores in Central Oregon say it's becoming more and more of a common practice to enforce the 2007 law requiring vehicles with a tire pressure monitoring (TPMS) system to have pressure sensors in the tires.

"Some of the early dealerships and other stores were allowing customers to put snow wheels and snow tires on without it," Bob Burks of Nelsen Tire Factory in Bend said Monday. "I wouldn't say everyone. but some."

Burks says the regulation is similar to when snow tires started to become popular. Traction tires were just put on the front of front-wheel-drive cars. But it became dangerous for the driver. as the back end of the car would slide around.

"Other stores would put them just on the front," Burks said, "Well, after legal situations, now everyone puts them on (all four wheels)."

Because of lawsuits, many tire stores are refusing to change over tires without the sensors in them.

"If a car comes in and they have a separate set of wheels, and they don't have the TPMS system in the wheel, we won't put it on the car," Burks said.

The law affects vehicles made in 2007 and newer -- those are the ones required to have the TPMS system.

"It is a safety system, and it does work, and it does make the car safer. It is a valuable thing in your car," Burks said.

If your car is equipped with TPMS and your snow tires are not, the cost to have sensors put in ranges from $40 to $70 a tire on the High Desert.

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