Installing your own winter tires

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6,705
Location
SE British Columbia, Canada
Thread starter
For snow areas only. Alabama boys need not apply. Do you install your own winter tires? It's a task I don't mind. I use a floor jack, jack stand, wheel blocks, corded electric impact wrench and torque wrench. When I have the wheel off, I grease any suspension fittings (that have zerks) near the hub, inspect the brake pads, and CV boots, and give the frame a shot of Krown rust preventer. I then check and adjust the air pressure. I prefer it over a shop because their employees typically go ape with the impact wrench when tightening down the nuts. Just don't get a hernia when dealing with trucks tires. smile
 
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Messages
118
Location
MN
I did it by hand for a while on 3 vehicles. Have a 1/2 inch cordless impact this year, so I'm actually looking forward to it. For me, it's just as much work to load up the tires and run them out somewhere as it is to just swap em out myself.
 

Pew

Messages
956
Location
Illinois
The evo I did. The focus I'll just bring it into the dealer and they do it as part of the 'the works' with the oil change and tire rotation.
 
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3,988
Location
Central Maryland
Every late Fall and Spring. With air tools its not too bad. Usually try to schedule in something with it- brake bleed, check/lube brakes, of course inspect tie rod ends and a little Fluid Film on anything that is, or might rust.
 
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443
Location
Minneapolis MN
Been swapping tires over myself twice a year on my own car for almost 40 years. I used to break the lug nuts loose with a breaker bar, but since I got a cordless impact, it's much easier. When I picked up a wife 30 years ago, I had to swap her tires over twice a year also, and kids cars for over 2 decades... It's peace-of-mind knowing that something is done right, and not having some random guy torque your nuts to insane ft/lb numbers is most reassuring.
 
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47
Location
Eastern PA
Always do my own. Even when all I had was a scissor jack and a cinder block. I have major trust issues with shops. I must be bad at picking them. The title of the post initially made me think mounting/balancing, not just wheel swapping. Which I also have done. My grandfather has a changer bolted to the floor and a static balancer. Although with these new-fangled 20" alloy wheels and TPMS, those tools have been recently gathering dust...
 
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39,425
Location
Great Lakes
Originally Posted by Snagglefoot
For snow areas only. Alabama boys need not apply. Do you install your own winter tires?
I'm assuming you mean winter tires that are already mounted on winter wheels so there is no need for remount/rebalance. If so, yeah, I swap those out on my 530i. On wife's Q5, I let the local shop do the swap as I don't want to break my back.
 
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4,091
Location
Texas
I too thought the OP was swapping tires on wheels . Seems he / she is talking about swapping wheel / tire units .
 
Messages
22
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by benhen77
I did it by hand for a while on 3 vehicles. Have a 1/2 inch cordless impact this year, so I'm actually looking forward to it. For me, it's just as much work to load up the tires and run them out somewhere as it is to just swap em out myself.
Totally agree. Easier to just do it right, at the right time (around here = mid November).
 
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6,705
Location
SE British Columbia, Canada
Thread starter
Originally Posted by WyrTwister
I too thought the OP was swapping tires on wheels . Seems he / she is talking about swapping wheel / tire units .
Yes, most folks who have winter tires up here, keep them on separate rims. For the apartment dwellers, a lot of the tire shops will store your summer / winter sets in a warehouse for a fee. For the folks that have larger garage, we buy a tire rack and keep them in the corner of the garage. smile
 
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422
Location
Seattle, WA
It's way faster to do it at home than go to the tire store, sit at the tire store, interact with tire store employees, get upsold on some BS tire store service, get home to find out that the tire store messed something up, rinse, repeat.
 
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1,674
Location
British Columbia, Canada
I used to do that. The big advantage to doing it yourself is you can wait until it actually snows to do the changeover. Otherwise you'd have to get it done weeks ahead of time. The tire shops get so busy with the first snow that you'll wait days for an appointment. But now that I live on the left hand coast, my snow tires simply rest easy in the garage. I could put them on, but I don't really need them. We hardly ever get snow, and it only lasts a day or two if we do. And I don't have to go anywhere that can't wait a couple of days.
 
Messages
118
Location
MN
Originally Posted by Snagglefoot
Originally Posted by WyrTwister
I too thought the OP was swapping tires on wheels . Seems he / she is talking about swapping wheel / tire units .
Yes, most folks who have winter tires up here, keep them on separate rims. For the apartment dwellers, a lot of the tire shops will store your summer / winter sets in a warehouse for a fee. For the folks that have larger garage, we buy a tire rack and keep them in the corner of the garage. smile
Or if you're like I was a few years ago, you drag 4 wheels and tires up to the third floor and stick them in the closet of your 1 BR apartment. LOL
 

JTK

Messages
12,854
Location
Buffalo, NY
If a functioning TPMS system is important to you, many of today's vehicles will require a trip to the shop for programming every time you swap tires/wheels with sensors anyway. Subaru is one of them that will only "remember" 4 wheels/sensors at a time. Maybe a set of snows would work if you cloned the OEM set somehow. As it sits, I've got 3 full sets of snow tires stacked in the garage for our three cars. Two sets are on wheels. It's a pain, but sure helps when you need them.
 
Messages
10,421
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
Mine are in the basement-full sets for the xB & Cherokee, 2 rear studs for the GMC, 10 wheels/tires to wrestle in & out every winter & spring. The way winters have been lately, I've been tempted to sell them, I didn't put my Mom's winters on her Matrix last year, left them in her garage.
 
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3,198
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
Have 4 mounted sets ready to swap once the weather shows its time to do it. Have 2 new cars and 2 new sets of studded winters to go with the cars - Hakka 9s. 1st time using studs, should be interesting, been Blizzaks up to this winter.
 
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35,775
Location
ME
Yes, and I mount them to the rims, and program the TPMS. Quite the hassle. But it saves wear on the tire's beads and surprise leaks. I pre-mount the next set of tires and let them sit around a while to monitor their air retention. I don't combine the job with any other work, because I usually wait until the night before the first forecast snow, and hurry through it.
 
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2,371
Location
pa
easy swap on premounted setups + getting a smaller narrower setup of the same diameter is cheaper + better. the best snow car i ever had was a 2001 jetta FWD 5 spd manual 1.8T, 200 thou safe reliable miles running 4 195-65-15 real snow tyres, summers were OE 205-55-16 i believe later i ran 225 45-17 i believe. many tyre sites show a correct downsize aka -1 or -2. i passed many struggling AWD +4 wd vehicles with all season but winter tyres + surely stopped better as well, something AWD or 4 WD does NOTHING for!!
 
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