Tire change done correctly - step by step instructions

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For quite a few drivers, changing tires correctly is a personal hurdle, because not everyone knows how a tire change works properly. Changing the car tires can be necessary for various reasons. The summer tires usually stay on the vehicle from Easter to October, after which the winter wheels are fitted. However, it may be necessary to change one or more tires in between, for example in the event of a breakdown or models that are too worn. In the following lines we give you tips on how you can change tires quickly and safely.

Change car tires yourself

If you want to change tires yourself, you should ideally have some experience. If in doubt, it is better to leave the tire changing to a specialist workshop. Handling the heavy, large SUV wheels in particular requires a certain amount of skill.

What tools are needed?

If you want to change the wheel yourself, you should first have the necessary tools ready. In addition to a wheel hub, a jack stand and a stable jack, this also includes a wire brush, a torque wrench, a key for the rim lock and a small container in which you can store the screws.

Because different nuts and bolts are often used when changing from light metal to steel rims (or vice versa), the appropriate parts must also be provided here. The same applies to the theft-proof rim locks.

Extra tip:
From your vehicle you can see where the jack is located in your car. There you will also learn how to use it. If you want to change tires yourself on a regular basis, you should consider purchasing a stable hydraulic jack.

Check profile depth and screws

It is important to check the wheel bolts or nuts for damage before changing the wheel. The contact surfaces and threads of the screws must be free of rust and clean. The wire brush is used to clean them. In principle, the threads should not be lubricated.

It is at least as important to also check the used tires for damage. The wheels must have the prescribed minimum profile depth of 1,6 mm. However, many experts recommend a tread depth of four millimeters for winter tires and three millimeters for summer tires.

Tire change done right: a step-by-step guide

1. Apply the handbrake and engage first gear or move the automatic selector lever to position “P”.
2. Pull off the wheel cover - if present - and loosen the wheel bolts or nuts by only about a quarter of a turn.
3. Now place the jack in the correct place. Please note the information in the operating instructions.
4. Raise the vehicle until the mounting height is reached.
5. Now unscrew the wheel nuts completely.
6. Remove the wheel and place it under the vehicle. Attention: You may need some power here, because especially light alloy wheels can sit very firmly on the centering of the steel hubs.
7. The tire that was mounted on the front axle in the previous season and vice versa is now attached to the rear axle.
8. Now carefully clean the wheel support surfaces and take a quick look at the condition of the brake pads and brake discs of your vehicle.
9. The new wheel can now be put on. Screw all wheel nuts hand-tight with the wheel cross.
10. The removed wheel is now brought out from under the vehicle.
11. Lower the car so that the tires just touch the ground.
12. Tighten the nuts crosswise with the required, prescribed torque. Be very careful here. You must note that special torques are often prescribed for emergency bikes.
13. Mark the removed wheels on the tread with wax crayons (“VL” for “front left”, “HR” for “rear right” etc.). This will avoid any confusion the next time you change tires.

Check air pressure: important after changing tires

If the new wheels are fitted, a tire pressure check should take place immediately. After about 50 kilometers you should also check the screws again and tighten them if necessary.

In general, it is recommended that the tires be changed axially after 8000 to 10.000 kilometers at the latest. By mounting the front left wheel to the rear left and so on, you can prevent different levels of wear.

If your tires raise different tread depths, the wheels with the greater tread depth must always be mounted on the rear axle. You will find further information in the operating instructions.

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