One of the fundamental elements for driving safety is undoubtedly the tire. Fundamental to guarantee efficiency in fuel consumption and for optimal management of braking and stopping distances, it is often adapted to different weather conditions to ensure maximum safety.
Very frequently, in fact, the replacement of tires takes place every six months (obviously in the absence of four-season tires), and precisely, as regards winter tires, in the period between October and Easter.
The condition of the tires, the check
Changing the tire of the car is a feasible operation for several reasons. First of all, as we have seen, there are motorists who use winter tires and therefore need to change their car tires twice a year.
In this case, the replacement takes place in the workshop for the use of specific equipment. But what can be the checks to be carried out without the help of specialized mechanics?
First of all, it is essential to check that the tread depth is always greater than 1.6 millimeters. It is also essential to ensure that the tires have not “expired”. Thanks to the four-digit DOT number on the side of the same in fact, we can find out the week of the calendar and the year of production.
In fact, after eight years, the tire must be disposed of even if the tread is still intact. The special compound of the tires was not created to last indefinitely.
Changing the car tires, how to do it
We have already seen how tire fitting requires technical equipment and expert hands. On the other hand, the situation for replacing the wheel is different. Any motorist, equipped with spare equipment (wheel, torque wrench, jack, and nuts) is perfectly capable of changing the tire of the car.
Specifically, to change the car tires safely and effectively, it is necessary to follow the following steps:
- Turn off the car, apply the handbrake and engage the first gear
- Loosen the wheel nuts
- Jack up the vehicle
- Completely remove the wheel nuts
- Pull the wheel off the axle
- Insert the new wheel on the axle
- Use the jack to lower the vehicle
- Tighten the wheel nuts securely
It is also essential to consider when changing the tires of the car, the rolling direction, and the correct torque. It is also a good idea to reverse the tires (front/rear) in order to have regular tread wear. Finally, once the replacement is complete, never forget to check the optimum air pressure.
What you need to replace the wheels yourself
As previously mentioned, changing winter tires with complete wheels is no different from replacing a punctured tire, so all motorists who have already done this in the past can replace it themselves … and those who have never fact can equally be attempted, as the intervention is not complicated. What you need is a jack stands to lift the car, a torque wrench, and a compressor to inflate the tires once assembly is complete.
First, of course, you need to secure the car, making sure that it is firmly fixed (handbrake on and gear engaged), then before lifting the vehicle it is recommended to start loosening the bolts because with the car still on the ground there will be greater resistance and this operation will be easier, in particular, if you use hand tools. Caution is needed to avoid breaking or damaging the nuts.
Disassembly and assembly of complete wheels
At this point the wheel on which you want to intervene is lifted from the ground, first removing the nuts and then the wheel itself, perhaps making a sketch of the position in which it was mounted in order to facilitate subsequent installation operations. This could be an opportunity to check the brakes, clean them thoroughly, and then spray a lubricant to preserve their seal against rust or corrosive elements.
Now we move on to the final part of the operation, which is to assemble the wheels equipped with summer covers instead of the winter ones: after positioning them, it is advisable to start manually tightening the bolts and use the torque wrench, an essential tool to calibrate the correct value of the fastening of the nuts (which is usually specified in the registration document).
The operation is repeated for all four tires: it takes some time, but it is within everyone’s reach and by replacing the complete wheels independently you save especially in the medium and long term.
Changing tires is a very simple operation, so two tools within the reach of any car are enough. With a jack (jack) and a torque wrench, you can change all the tires of the car without difficulty. If the wheel change is due to a puncture, the utmost attention must be paid to road safety. It is better to call for help rather than risk a tire change accident.