Everything you need to know about changing wheels: What do I need? Should I do everything myself or do I have to go to a garage? And if so, how much does it cost me? Can anything go wrong when changing a wheel? All the answers, lots of further information and comprehensive video instructions are available here!Wheel Changing Instructions
Granted, no matter which expression you choose, everyone understands what is meant. Technically correct, however, is wheel change. Although it is mostly about changing between summer and winter tyres, not only the tyres themselves are usually removed but the whole wheel is replaced.
Strictly speaking, a tyre change would only be carried out if the same rim was removed from the "old" tyre and fitted with the "new" one, including balancing. Quite an effort, isn't it?
Before you start
When purchasing alloys in our online shop you always receive suitable wheel bolts / nuts free of charge if the original fasteners of your vehicle are not compatible with the new wheels.
Easy. Compatible. Carefree.
USE THE TORQUE WRENCH ONLY FOR TIGHTENING - NEVER FOR LOOSENING
The torque wrench is essential for changing wheels. However, only for tightening the wheel bolts - not for loosening! The long lever of the wrench may seem ideal for loosening stuck bolts but it will damage the mechanics of the tool and you will soon have to buy a new one.
By the way: stuck wheel bolts are often the result of the fact that they have not been installed with a torque wrench!
IF THE WHEEL BOLT IS DIFFICULT TO SCREW IN: STOP IMMEDIATELY
There can be several reasons for stiff wheel bolts: rust or dirt on the bolt or thread, or the thread is already damaged.
In any case: stop screwing in immediately!
If the rust can no longer be removed with the wire brush, you should visit a professional garage and purchase new wheel bolts.
ALWAYS RESET THE TORQUE AFTER USING THE WRENCH
A torque wrench contains a spring inside which is tensioned like a ratchet. When the set torque is reached during tightening, the driver jumps over the toothing and a click is clearly audible.
If the spring is not reset again after use, it loses tension over time and then no longer corresponds to the scale. This entails an enormous risk of accidents because in the worst case wheel bolts are not tightened sufficiently and can come loose.
WHEN TO CHANGE WHEELS
Everybody knows that there are summer and winter tyres. But when do you have to change from one to the other?
The change of tyres depends on what the weather is like and where you live. In regions with strong winters it may be necessary to use winter tyres until Easter. The use of summer tyres is recommended till October. If weather conditions change unexpectedly you might have to swap tyres earlier, of course.
OIL OR GREASE SHOULD ONLY BE USED ON THE WHEEL HUB, NOT ON THE BOLT THREAD.
Some grease or oil on the thread to make the screws turn more easily? Absolutely not! When tightening the fasteners the oil/grease will cause that the prescribed tightening torque is reached later.
This means that the torque wrench only clicks at a considerably higher tightening torque. This can damage the thread or cause the bolt to break.
At a tread depth of 4 mm the grip of tyres, especially of wide tyres, is already significantly reduced on wet roads. This is why you should never use tyres down to the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm.
If you are still undecided whether you dare to change the wheels yourself or you prefer to go to a garage, here is an overview of all important facts.
|Do it yourself
|Only costs for tools
|About 45 € per season (incl. balancing; excl. storage)
|Approx. 30-40 min
|Approx. 30 min; during high season appointments may be necessary!
|Tools / Accessories
|Personal responsibility or with additional costs in a garage
|Approx. 30 €; if necessary plus costs for cleaning and balancing
|Flexible in time without appointment
Significantly lower costs
|No costs for tools
Often storage possible (at extra charge)
|Risk of mistakes as non-professional
...the thread or the wheel bolts are rusty?
Light layers of rust on the bolts can still be removed with a wire brush; in case of heavier dirt, we recommend to purchase new bolts. If the thread is rusty, bolts must not be used anymore as this might falsify the tightening torque!
...the torque wrench hasn't been reset properly?
Each torque wrench contains a spring which is tensioned according to the set value. The tension does not have to be released constantly during the wheel change. However, if the spring in the wrench remains tensioned for several hours, days or months, it loses its accuracy. In this case it is necessary to recalibrate or purchase a new wrench.
...the wheel bolts can't be loosened?
Try a long lever first. If this does not lead to the desired result you should ask a professional workshop for help. They usually have special devices for loosening stuck wheel bolts.
...after changing the wheels there are sounds while driving?
If after changing the wheels you notice unusual sounds, i.e. a rattling or grinding noise, beats or vibrations in the steering wheel, this can have different causes such as loose bolts or rust on the hub. In any case, you should visit a workshop to have the problem professionally solved.
...the wheel bolts are too long?
Never try to shorten or install the bolts manually! In some cases this may damage the brake system. In all cases, however, doing so increases the risk of accidents. Therefore, only use suitable wheel bolts. In our online shop wheel bolts or nuts are always included in the shipment (if necessary).
...the wheel is stuck on the hub?
In this case brute force does not help. Using a rubber hammer as recommended by hobby wheel changers is not risk-free either. Play it safe with a short trip to your trusted workshop. Before the next wheel change, thoroughly remove the rust from the wheel hub and apply some copper paste to save yourself the trouble in the next season.
...I forgot to retighten the wheel bolts?
Many wheel bolts "settle" after a distance of 50 to 100 km after changing the wheel. This is why retightening is essential. Otherwise, the bolts may continue to loosen. If you forgot to retighten the bolts, do so immediately (using a torque wrench!). A warning signal for loose bolts is, for example, a rattling noise while driving.
...I don't have a torque wrench?
In this case: Do not change the wheels yourself! Sometimes wheel changers think that it's enough to simply tighten the wheel bolts "as one sees fit". But too much tightening can damage the thread or cause that the bolts can hardly be loosened when changing the wheels the next time. If not tightened sufficiently though, the bolts may come loose again. In any case, you can avoid all these risks by purchasing a standard torque wrench.
...I don't own a car jack?
Jacks are included in the on-board set of most vehicles. If there is no jack in your car, you can buy standard jacks at any DIY store. However, we recommend investing into a trolley jack instead of a scissor jack. It is much more stable and reduces the risk of slipping.
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Select Accessories if needed
Your Ready-to-Mount Complete Wheel