Installing new tires is a necessity when you have maxed out the mileage on your current tires, or need a replacement due to problems with flats or uneven wear. A quality set of tires will ensure a safe, efficient ride and helps you maximize mileage.
Setting up an appointment to have your tires replaced is a simple process, and some tire specialist shops and mechanics will allow you to simply drive up if you are willing to wait your turn. But how long, exactly, do you need to set aside for a tire installation?
Take a look at what takes place when your tires are installed and what to consider.
What Does Mounting Tires Entail?
Tire installation is a pretty straight forward process, and can be completed fairly quickly with the use of professional tools. When your tires are replaced, first the old ones must be removed, air let out, and the air stem core or Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) unscrewed depending on your vehicle. The wheel weights will also be removed and once the old tires are off, the new tires will be remounted with new air valve stems, aired up, and placed back on.
The balancing also takes place during this process, tires will be tightened, and once the vehicle is lowered to the bay floor- lugnuts retightened to ensure safety.
Alignment: Worth the Added Time?
Wheel alignment isn’t a requirement when you have your new tires installed. Alignment assures the tire meets the road at the proper angle and the tires are centered in the wheel wells. You don’t generally need an alignment unless you notice one of the following prior to having your tires replaced:
- Quick tire wear or uneven wear on treads
- Steering wheel isn’t straight when you are heading straight down the road
- Noise in your steering column
- Vehicles pulls to one side of the road on a flat surface
- Tires squeal when you turn
If you have noticed any of the above, or have concerns, speak with your mechanic and determine if an alignment is worth being done as well. These may take up to an extra hour depending on the vehicle’s suspension, and what might be causing the misalignment.
How Long Will a Tire Replacement Take?
Assuming you have an appointment and are replacing all 4 tires, you should expect to be waiting approximately 45 minutes. Even though the actual removal of old tires and replacement will only take around 15 to 20 minutes, getting your vehicle into the bay, rebalancing, and checking the torque on the lug nuts will add to the time.
In a professional setting, new tire installation is a quick and easy process that shouldn’t have you waiting for more than about 45 minutes from the time you drop it off to when you are ready to go. Of course, if you do not have an appointment, or have to wait for the appointment to begin, this will add to the time- so you might not want to try and squeeze one in during a lunch break.
If an alignment is required, you can expect up to an extra hour depending on the type of vehicle you own. Luckily, this is rarely needed and you’ll already have a good idea of this in advance.
Let us know if you have any questions, and as always, please share!