So twice per year, I embark on a personal tire changing challenge. I started changing my own tires a few years ago. I’ve slowly been optimizing my process, and as of last summer I’ve been tracking the time between changes.
To be clear, the time starts when all the tools are neatly placed next to one tire and all four tires are ready and placed next to each wheel. Time stops when the car is ready to roll with the new set!
So first things first: the tools required. If you’re new to tire changing it will require you a few new tools to get started. Here’s my current setup:
- 22mm impact socket
- Torque wrench
- Large socket wrench
- Johnson bar
- Small Socket extension (3/8” … I don’t have 1/2”)
- 1/2″ to 3/8″ & 3/8″ to 1/2″ converter (for the ext)
- Jack, & stands
- Drill socket attachment
- Kia Car keys
- Storage room keys
The first thing to remember is that you need to loosen you tire nuts before you jack them up. Usually your front tires don’t have the brake on … So if you don’t do this, the tire will just spin in the air.
Next, Jack up the front or the rear. But remember that while your rear is jacked up your front tires can spin freely. So never do this on a slope.
Since my nuts are already loosened. I use my drill to quickly remove all the nuts.
This year, I lost some time figuring out why my tire wouldn’t come off after all the nuts were removed … I really scratched my head. Turns out the central hub has a bit of rust and that was keeping the wheel stuck. Next year, I might want to clean that up and grease it.
After your wheel is removed, put the new one on, hand tighten, then use the star rule to tighten your tires with a torque wrench. You should look up your own brand to see what torque setting to use with your make/model. My Kia Forte requires 85 ft-lbs.
That’s all there is to it. Overall, the purchase of the jack & stands was well worth the time saved and money saved by doing my own tie changes.
Plus you’ll feel better about yourself if you do! This year’s time 35min. Last year was 55min. Definitely getting better.