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Change your tires yourself: avoid a workshop appointment

Change your tires yourself: avoid a workshop appointment

The tires need to be changed from Easter onwards, because when it gets warmer, the winter tires have to be taken off and stored. Replacing wheels does not necessarily have to be done by a specialist. With a few tips and tools it can be done quickly.

Cars require a lot of maintenance, but there are some jobs that car owners can easily do themselves. This includes changing tires. Around Easter, the winter tires should be slowly removed and the summer tires taken out of the basement. Changing tires yourself has the advantage that no time-consuming and nerve-consuming workshop appointments are necessary, and you can also save a lot of money this way. What should you pay attention to when changing tires? We clarify.

This tool is necessary for changing tires

If you want to change car tires, you need the right tools. A jack is often already part of the vehicle’s equipment. Car owners can find out where it is located in the car’s operating instructions. If you regularly change tires, purchasing a maneuverable hydraulic jack is worth considering. Overall, the following tools are required for changing tires:

  • Jack
  • Wire brush
  • Torque wrench
  • Wheel cross
  • Possibly knee protection and work gloves

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Step-by-step instructions for changing tires

  • Secure the vehicle: Engage first gear and apply the handbrake. With the automatic transmission, set the lever to “P”. There should be enough space around the car to change tires.
  • Remove hubcap: If wheel covers are present, they must be removed first.
  • Loosen the wheel bolts: The wheel nuts should now be loosened slightly; a quarter turn is enough. The rotation is counterclockwise. A torque wrench is a suitable tool; if you want it to be even more convenient, you can use an impact wrench.

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  • Raise the car: The jack can be placed on certain reinforced areas of the underbody. Using the jack, the car can now be raised until the appropriate installation height is reached. The tire should float about two to three centimeters in the air.

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  • Unscrew wheel nuts: Now the wheel nuts can be completely removed. Tip: It’s best to loosen the top screw connection right at the end, then press the rim firmly against the wheel hub so that the wheel doesn’t slip.
  • Remove the wheel and mark it: After removing the bike, it is best to mark it directly, for example with “VL” for front left – this way the bike can be mounted in the right place in the fall.
  • Clean wheel support: The rim support and wheel centering should now be thoroughly cleaned of dirt and rust using a wire brush. Tip: It’s also a good idea to take a look at the brake system.

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  • Get the bike ready: If possible, the wheel that was on the front axle last season should be mounted on the rear axle (and vice versa). In this way, the profile can be traced more evenly. The direction of rotation of the tire should also be checked before installation. This is often visible by an arrow on the side of the tire that shows rotation.
  • Put the wheel on: Place summer tires on the wheel hub; the screw holes on the rim should be directly above the threaded holes on the hub.
  • Screw on the wheel nuts: The wheel nuts are now screwed onto the wheel cross. It’s best to start with the top nut again in order to guarantee an optimal hold of the tire. The screw connection should be hand-tight and the rim should lie straight and firmly. Tip: If the screw connection is particularly difficult to move, it is better to start it again because then it has jammed.

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  • Lower the vehicle: Carefully lower the car until the tire is just resting on the ground. Tip: Don’t let it go completely yet, as this will allow the wheel to align itself optimally when the screws are tightened.
  • Tightening the wheel bolts: The wheel bolts are now tightened crosswise using the torque wrench. Car owners can find out the correct tightening torque for the torque wrench in the vehicle manual.

More tips for changing tires

  • Check summer tires that have already been used for damage before using them again.
  • To change the tires, park the car on a level, firm surface.
  • After changing tires, the air pressure should be checked.
  • After about 50 kilometers, check the screw connection again and tighten it if necessary.
  • Allow enough time for assembly to avoid errors.
  • The tires can be replaced on an axle-by-axle basis approximately every 10,000 kilometers, which prevents differential wear.

When is it due to change tires to summer tires?

“O to O” has become established as a rule of thumb. Winter tires are due in October and summer tires at Easter. However, there are no exact regulations in the road traffic regulations. But if the temperatures no longer fall below zero degrees at night, summer tires can be fitted. Around Easter it may be difficult to get a workshop appointment. Changing the tire yourself can also prevent frustration and waiting times.

Source: Stern

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