Installing your own winter tires

Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
2,058
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America's Dairyland
I've been swapping wheels/tires since the mid-90's. For the past 5 years I have been able to mount & balance my own assemblies so I'm a bit spoiled. This will be the first year of not having a separate set of wheels/tires for winter. I took the factory tires off my car at 850 miles so that's the plan unless I find a smoking deal on snows...soon. The PSS tires will not work under 45F. Don't forget to clean the hub-face and the wheel center-bore for good centering!
 
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
1,083
Location
Michigan, USA
Yes I swap over to my snow tire/wheels on the 4x4 truck every November and back off in the spring. Usually takes 30-40 minutes with impact, jack stands and jack. Then torque lug nuts to spec.
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
15,881
Location
Central NY
Originally Posted by benhen77
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
I had multiple sets of tires stored on my 2nd floor balcony in my apartment. Was always expecting them to complain about it, but they never did
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2006
Messages
9,614
Location
Pennsylbammyvania
I switch between my 3 sets of tires, back and forth, all by myself, all the while looking over my shoulder for the HOA's draconian KGB agents who will fine you insane amounts if they catch you with your car on a jack/jack stands, YES, even in your own driveway. This leaves me very little time to do anything else under the car (like hitting any rust areas with POR-15, etc.) but I do it anyway, albeit hurriedly. Oil changes/catch can drains are a real adventure under these conditions, as one might imagine. frown mad
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
760
Location
Upstate NY
I have one set of mounted snows for my car, and a set of tires for my Son's car which isn't used much as he's at college. I like the convenience of being able to do the swap for my car whenever I want. I do see lines at the shop I use for my Son's tires for a couple days before our first predicted snow each year. I usually have plenty of time to to change my Son's car set before he's back on a break so I miss the lines. That said, I do have the space and ability to swap mine and store them as well. I'm probably going to hunt up rims for my son when he's done with school to do the same for him. They also end up torqued correctly my way.
 

harbor

Site Donor 2023
Joined
Dec 13, 2002
Messages
408
Location
Rochester Hills, MI
I've been doing it on the non-AWD vehicles in my fleet since 2008. Gives me a chance to examine the tires, put anti-seize on the wheel hubs, properly torque the lug nuts, etc. I get the mounted/balanced winter tires/wheels from Tire Rack and sell them on Craigslist as vehicles get replaced.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
20,161
Location
NH
I do my own tire rotations too, so it's not a big deal. Winters are on their own set of rims, so putting winters on is less work than doing a tire rotation (rotation is 5 times to lift corners while snows is only 4). I try to bust apart the brakes at the same time winters go on or off, make sure everything is greased up and working properly; good time to run a bit of brake fluid through the lines too. Getting tired of doing it on the truck though, not sure what those steel rims + tires weigh but dang if they aren't about the limit of what I can lift. Having to use two bottle jacks to lift the front end is kinda old too (need something like 13" of lift). I used to have to lift all 4 into the truck, then drive around the house to a flat spot to do the job, not sure how bad it will be at my new house, other than the truck won't fit into the garage to do this job. I have installed tires onto rims but still haven't found a tire balancer that I'm willing to pay for--otherwise I'd do that too.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Messages
4,370
Location
Central Maryland
Originally Posted by benjy
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!!
A common misconception. Keeping the wheels turning while braking lessens the chance of wheel lockup in the first place, and increases the chance of regaining control after loss of traction. This is particularly true of AWD systems where active wheel control is trying to match wheel speed to vehicle speed on your behalf.
 
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