Having a flat tire is generally an inconvenience. You now have to start thinking of how you would need to change such a tire before getting on with your trip.
That is not the only time you have to change a tire, sometimes it could be that your tires are worn out and you just need to have them replaced.
We look at different scenarios for you to see how long it can take to change a tire.
Generally, changing a tire can take 15 minutes to 2 hours depending on how many tires you want to change. If you have to change all four tires, expect it to take longer.
A flat tire should take you just 15 minutes to get done by the roadside.
Inspecting the Car Tires
It is advisable to inspect the car tires more often so that you notice the damage on the tires and decide on the next step.
Sometimes the tires might need repairs and at times replacing the tires is the only solution.
During the inspection, check the tire pressure. Make sure that the tire pressure is what the manufacturer recommends.
Passenger cars would be recommended to have 35 to 40 PSI, so keep it within that range.
Do not forget about checking the tire tread too. Check on all four tires or more depending on the car type.
A penny test can come in handy to understand if the tread needs replacing or not.
If you notice that the tire treads are worn, it might be great to go for a new set of tires. This is key in ensuring you have better stopping power and traction too.
How much air you use in the tires can often affect how good the treads can wear. If you over-inflate, expect the middle section to wear faster.
As for underinflation, the result is the outer sides of the tire wear faster leaving the middle section with more tread.
You can see why it is crucial to have the tires inflated correctly.
Here is a video on why underinflating and overinflating are not good for your tires.
Factors Determining How Long You Would Take
As mentioned before, it can take an average of 15 minutes to change a tire. This is mostly for flat tires. However, expect that this timeframe is dependent on other factors we shall look at below.
How many tires you are changing
If one tire is 15 minutes, what about 4? As you can see, having more tires to change means spending more time doing it.
For those who do not know how to change the tire, then an auto shop might be necessary to help in changing the tire correctly.
Auto shops take less time and you should be back on the road already.
Changing all four tires at once is mostly because you want to change worn tires.
This would be best handled at an auto shop where there is plenty of tools and lifts to make the job easier and faster.
Location and tools
Sometimes you might be in a place that makes it easier or harder to change the tires fast. It is why you should always consider the two when you need to change your tires.
A good example is changing four tires at once is not an easy task. You may have to consider having a lift to help with the job.
Also, worn tires mean you have to remove them from the wheels first.
Do you have the tools to do that? It is expected that without the tools, you may have to take more time to get the job done.
Changing on Your Own or By a Professional
You can decide to change the tire on your own or hire a professional to do it. Which is better?
The vehicle you are using and the number of tires you need to change may determine if you take the car to the shop or do it yourself.
Changing a tire on your own is not hard, so you can always give it a try first. It will take you an average of 15 to 20 minutes to have a single tire changed.
If you have to add new tires to the wheels, we always recommend a professional shop. Without the proper tools, then it would take longer or even not possible to do it.
If someone is a professional mechanic, it should take less time to have the tire replaced.
Most auto shops will have a lift making it easier to work on the car. This would be hard for you since you would only be using a jack.
There can be benefits to changing the tires on your own. The first thing is that you can save on time and money.
Sometimes you get to an auto shop and you have to wait for others who are in line already.
Well, in case you are a novice at changing tires, you might want to enlist the help of a professional. This would make the process faster and safe too.
Here is a video with tips on how to change a tire
Methods for Changing the Tires
You can have several ways of changing the tires. One of such methods is using a jack. This would be the most common way of changing a tire.
We find that using a jack is only suitable if you are changing one tire. Using it to change four tires takes too much time.
The other option is using jack stands. This is when you have to change all four tires, but you do not need the weight of the car resting on the jack alone.
So, have the jack stands placed strategically to keep the car stable as you change the tires.
The best choice for changing all tires fast is having it on a vehicle lift. The lift raises the car to a level that you can work on it with ease.
This is the most efficient method for changing the tires but it can also be expensive.
When To Change Your Tires
Changing the tires is not something you will do more often. Some people might have not changed a tire since they started driving.
Nevertheless, you should know when to change the tires and how to do it right.
One of the things that would make you change a tire is when you have a flat. You do not want to be driving around with a flat tire.
This is because you can damage the tire and also bend the wheel.
What is the state of the tires in terms of tread? Having a good tread is key in ensuring your tires actually work great.
So, if you have worn tires, make sure to change them to better tires so that your car handles better.
Tires also expire. This is something most people might not know about, but tires have a specific lifespan.
Look at the information on the tire sidewall to see if your tire is still good. When the tire expires, it starts to experience dry rotting.
So, expect to see cracks that make the tires dangerous. Have such tires replaced.
Why It Can Take Long to Change Tires
Removing a tire from a car can be straightforward or sometimes a bit challenging. This is mostly because different car tires have different needs.
Most will be easy to remove, but others might need more care. This includes removing the wheel covers or hubcaps before removing the wheel.
Big tires also have many lug nuts you have to loosen before removing the tire. That is why if you have a truck, expect it to take more time to fully remove the tire or have it replaced.
The location matters a lot when seeking to change the tires. An example is changing the tire at home or at a shop should take less time.
This is because distractions are fewer compared to changing the tire by the roadside.
The worst can be when you lack the right tools for the job. You will have to work harder to get the job done.
Another reason a tire change can take longer is if the service center is crowded. Expect a good workshop to have more customers waiting in line.
Sometimes you now have to wait for your turn meaning more time spent not on your trip.
Should you replace all four tires at once?
It all depends on how far they are worn. Sometimes it can be necessary to have them replaced all at once so you have a better-handling vehicle.
What is the cost of changing a tire?
Doing it yourself means that the cost is zero. However, if you take it to a shop, you can expect to spend around $50 or more depending on how many tires are being changed.
How much will all 4 tires cost?
Assuming you want to change all four tires, it is best to budget for around $400 to $1,600 depending on the quality and brand of the tires.