What You Will Need to Fit Your Own Wheels With Tyres

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What You Will Need to Fit Your Own Wheels With Tyres

For many people, being able to change their own tyres when they have a flat is one of the great achievements of being self-reliant. For others, however, being self-reliant goes beyond simply replacing a flat tyre with a spare. It means actually fitting new tyres on a rim, and then putting the wheels back on the car. This may sound daunting to some, and others may be simply content to let certified mechanics deal with it, but doing it yourself is entirely possible, and easier than one might think.

All of the tools that are required to fit your own wheels with tyres are generally easily available in auto parts stores, or online at eBay. When attempting to fit a wheel with a new tyre, whether because one went flat or simply because a set of tyres is becoming too worn to use and new tyres are needed, it is helpful to know what tools are needed. The best way to do this is to go through the steps of removing an old tyre and replacing a new one. This way, you can compile a list of what you need, and be fully prepared before you even begin your search.

Removing a Tyre from a Wheel

The step involved with removing a tyre from a wheel is the only step where a specialised tool that is not commonly found in a home is needed. This tool is a valve stem removal tool and is needed in order to remove, and later replace, the valve stem. This tool is usually a long, thin piece of metal with a head that sits at an angle. This head is threaded so that it can be firmly attached to the valve stem. With a firm attachment, the valve stem can be either pulled free, or wedged firmly in place. The valve stem is best removed by placing the tyre flat on the ground with the valve stem facing upward. Then, using the valve stem tool, the valve stem can be turned counter-clockwise and pulled free. This gives the added benefit of allowing the air to escape from the tyre.

Breaking the Seal

After removing the valve stem, the next step is to break the seal between the tyre and the wheel itself. This is accomplished with a standard, flat head screwdriver, a prybar or tyre iron, and a physically able assistant. The first step is to wedge the screwdriver between the tyre and wheel, thus breaking the air seal. It is then necessary to keep the screwdriver in place while the assistant stands atop the tyre and uses their weight to keep the tyre on the ground. The pry bar can then be inserted into the space between the tyre and wheel, and with enough leverage, one side of the tyre can be freed from the wheel. This step must be repeated once the tyre is turned over. It may be helpful to use some form a lubricant during the process. Dish soap is actually very helpful in this situation, and is not very expensive at all.

Optional Tools

While the above procedure can work perfectly well, there are other tools that can be used to make this process much easier. Instead of a tyre iron or pry bar, a 'tyre spoon' can be used. A tyre spoon is quite similar to a tyre iron, but it has a curved head that can be easier to insert between the tyre and wheel. In some cases, inserting a large bar of metal between the tyre and wheel can scratch or damage the wheel, so it is helpful to place protective guards over the edges of the wheel. Covers that are designed to protect car doors work well in this situation.

Placing a Tyre on a Wheel

Putting a new tyre on a wheel is most times a much easier task than removing one. With the wheel once again flat on the ground, the tyre can be placed on top of it. It is much easier to put the tyre onto the wheel if it is generously lubricated. It is also helpful to find a means to secure the wheel in order to prevent the tyre from getting stuck. In this case, a vice-grip can be a useful tool to have around.

Using Force

Getting the tyre onto the wheel can be tricky. With the tyre well lubricated and placed over the wheel, it is then necessary to stand on the tyre and use the tyre iron, or pry bar, to carefully slide the inside edges of the tyre over the edges of the wheel. This is a difficult process, and can usually only be done a few centimetres at a time. Once a small section of the tyre is in place, the pry bar can be moved slightly and the process begun anew. Once one side of the tyre is in place, the wheel needs to be flipped over and the process repeated once again.

Inflating the Tyre

Once the edges of the tyre are in place, it is necessary to replace the valve stem, which can be done with the same valve stem tool, and only requires the valve stem to be snapped in place. Then, using an air compressor, the tyre can be inflated. It is important to use an air pressure gauge to make certain that the tyre is filled properly, as an underinflated or overinflated tyre can be dangerous to have on a car when driving.

Dangers of an Over Inflated Tyre

Dangers of an Under Inflated Tyre

Increase risk of damage from potholes

Reduced tread life

Bumpier ride

Reduced fuel economy

Inability to isolate road irregularities

Reduced steering precision

Most tyres have the recommended air pressure printed somewhere along the side of the tyre, so finding the proper pressure should be fairly easy. Inflating the tyre properly can also help you determine if there are any leaks, as well as if the tyre and wheel have been secured properly.

Attaching the Wheel to the Car

Once the tyre and wheel are joined together and the tyre has been inflated properly, it is now time to reattach the wheel to a car. This is a fairly easy procedure, and most people have done it once or twice before. All that is needed is a jack and a lug wrench. The jack is used to raise the car in place so that the tyre can be placed on the wheel. The holes in the wheel should be aligned with the threaded ends protruding out from the wheel. Once the wheel is in place, the jack can be lowered and the lugs, acorn-shaped pieces, can be attached to the wheel using the lug wrench. It is important to make certain that the lugs are attached as securely as possible in order to keep the wheel from falling off while the car is in motion.

How to Buy Tyre Fitting Tools on eBay

All of the tools needed to fit a tyre on a wheel at home are available on eBay at more than affordable prices. Many of these items are fairly general, so there may be a massive variety of options to choose from. The best place to start looking for a specific tyre fitting tool is in the search bar available from any eBay page.

A search term can be general, or  even quite specific, such as a 'tyre iron'. In this way, a number of tools and other items can be located and purchased quickly and easily. Many of these tools are new and unused, while others are used, but are in excellent condition. It is helpful to evaluate every option in terms of price and quality before making a purchase. It is also helpful to read the entire product description for each item in order to learn about all of the potential features it contains, as well as its history and if there are any flaws or defects. It is also helpful to read seller feedback, and other valuable information, to gain a clearer picture of the buying process.

Conclusion

Changing a flat tyre for a spare tyre is one thing. It is another process altogether to actually remove the flat tyre from the wheel before adding a new one. While tyre shops use complicated and expensive machinery in order to make it a faster process, anyone can do it at home for far less money. The best way to understand what is needed in order to fit a tyre yourself is to first go through the steps of removing and replacing the tyre.

Removing a tyre is the most difficult part of this process, and may require a certain amount of brute force at times. Necessary tools include a valve stem removal tool, a pry bar or tyre iron, and some lubricant. It is also helpful to find a means to protect the edges of the wheel from scratches and other potential disfigurements. Many of the same tools can be used when replacing the tyre, which is much easier. Once the tyre is in place, it is necessary to fill it with air, which can be done with an air compressor. Afterward, it is a good idea to use an air pressure gauge to ensure that the task has been performed properly. Once all of these tools are in place, anyone can fit a tyre to a wheel, saving money and gaining a feeling of accomplishment.

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