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Got a bad tire? You may just want to change the bad tire instead of replacing all the tires in your car. But how long does it take to change a tire?
It takes roughly 20 minutes to one hour to get it done if you have everything needed handy. Changing more than one tire could take up to two hours, depending on the equipment you’ve got.
To change your car’s tire(s) yourself, you need to have a fully inflated spare tire, wrench, and a jack. You can save yourself the time and stress and get the tire(s) changed for you for less than $100 (labor cost) if you already have (bought) the tires.
This article explains everything you should know about changing your tires yourself.
How Do You Know It Is Time To Change Your Car Tires?
Because your tire is deflated doesn’t mean you should change it – just get it inflated and continue your trip. However, if the tire treads are worn, or you can see tears on the tire, then it’s pretty time to put a new tire on.
Also, if you’ve been driving with summer tires and it’s now winter, it’d be better to put on winter or all-season tires. Tire change is something you do yourself when you’ve got the right tools needed.
How Long Does It Take To Change a Tire?
There is no standard amount of time it takes to change car tires; it all depends on who is doing it, the tools being used, the number of tires to be changed, and the type of vehicle.
But roughly, expect to spend from a couple of minutes (around 20 minutes) to some hours (up to three hours).
Factors to affect how long it could take to change a tire:
- Number of tires to be changed
- Where you’re getting it done (if you’re going to a tire shop)
- Tools used
- The person doing it
- Type of vehicle (cars with more tires would take longer time)
If you would love to change your car tires yourself, you should always have the required tools in your trunk; that way, you can easily change your car’s bad tires in a couple of minutes, regardless of where you got stuck.
Hereunder are clearer details on what affects tire change estimated timing – and how to go about changing a flat or worn-out tire.
What You Need To Change Your Car Tire Yourself
These are the important tools and equipment you should have if you want to change your tires yourself.
- A spare tire (at least one)
- Wedges to hold the rest tires while trying to remove the one to be changed
- Car jack to lift the car up and remove the bad tire(s)
- Tire iron or lug wrench
- Working gloves and caution/emergency triangle
You may also need to keep your car’s owner’s manual handy to look into the guide on how to remove your car’s tires.
How To Change Car Tires
There are three popular methods for replacing car tires; you either use jacks, jack stands, or vehicle lifts (often found in professional workshops).
1. Using a Car Jack
This method is best recommended if you’re changing just one tire (or maybe two). If you attempt this method for changing all the tires, you will spend much more time. Hereunder are details on how to use a car jack.
- Put the jack under the car and roll the lever to lift the car
- Continue using the jack to lift the car until the targeted tire is free from the ground
- Loosen the tire nuts using the right tool
- Carefully remove the bad tire and fix the new one
- Tighten up the nuts and jack down the car
Well, it sounds too easy and simple in writing, but not really so easy practically. Also, you should be observant to know when to stop jacking the car up or down.
2. Using Jack Stands
Combining a car jack with standard jack stands can make tire change faster and easier, especially if you’re looking to change all four tires of your truck or car.
This method works similarly to the method explained above, but this time, you’d need up to four jack stands to place at the four positions of your car’s wheels.
- Put the jack under the car and roll the lever to lift the car
- Continue using the jack to lift the car until at least two tires are off the ground – rotating freely, then place two jack stands close to those free tires. Repeat this step to lift the remaining tires and put the jack stands
- After putting the jack stands, loosen the car jack so that the car lowers a bit and rests on the jack stands
- Loosen the tires’ nuts using the right tool
- Carefully remove the tires and fix the new ones
- Tighten up the nuts
- Using the car jack, lift the car slightly up to remove the jack stands, then gradually lower the car by rolling down the jack until all four tires are on the ground
This method is quite riskier than the first; hence, it requires high expertise and carefulness. In fact, you need to possess some mechanical ability and experience to do it perfectly.
3. Using a Vehicle Lift
Well, there’s no way you would have access to use vehicle lifts for tire changes if you aren’t a mechanic or alignment technician.
This method will raise the car off the ground – without any jack or jack stands – allowing instant access to the vehicle’s four tires. Professionals can use vehicle lifts to change your car tires – the four of them – in less than an hour.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where To Go For Tire Changes?
There could be many tire service centers in your city or state; however, some notable places to go for tire change include Walmart, Costco, Firestone, Bridgestone, and tire alignment centers. Some mechanic workshops also do tire changes – you should just ask around your neighborhood and see where you can get it done at a cheaper price without compromising professionalism.
Should Tire Alignment Be Done After Tire Change?
Well, even if you changed all the tires on your car, it is not compulsory to do an alignment. Tire alignment or wheel alignment doesn’t actually mean adjusting the car tires particularly; it’s about adjusting the axle(s) and wheel hub. So, if your car was aligned correctly before the tire change, there’s absolutely no need for an alignment – but you can still choose to do it anyway.
How Much Does It Cost To Change a Tire?
If you have an inflated spare tire and the necessary tools, you won’t have to pay anyone – you can change the tire yourself; it’d only cost you a few minutes (up to 30 minutes). But if you’re changing the entire tires, it’d take up hours. But then, if you decide to get it done at a tire service center, you may be paying up to $50 per tire for labor (the tire price is not inclusive).
So, how long does it take to change a tire? It takes approximately 30 minutes if you’ve got everything needed. But it could take many hours trying to change all your car’s tires alone – using basic tools.