How to change to summer or winter tires

change to summer or winter tires

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Whether you prefer to change wheels in a workshop or if you prefer to do it alone at home, there are some simple tricks to help you save your nerves and your wallet. This is how to change to summer or winter tires.

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Change to summer or winter tires: 10 tips

  1. Changing tires at the right time 
    Winter tires — also called snow tires — offer better driving characteristics in snow and cold than summer tires. Summer tires also have a better grip on hot asphalt in summer than winter tires. In addition to safety, however, there is also an economic aspect that speaks for a timely change of wheels. On the one hand, winter tyres wear out faster than summer tyres on dry roads, i.e. the winter tyres do not last as long and new winter tyres have to be purchased after about 2 years. On the other hand, you save fuel when you are on the road with the right tires. 
  2. Make an appointment in the workshop in good time 
    Every spring and autumn there is a huge demand from workshops, mechanics and tyre dealers. So if you decide to change your tires in the workshop, you should make an appointment in time. 
  3. Clean all parts 
    The wheels are the part of the car that will probably get the dirtiest during the year. However, it is important that the nuts and screws are cleaned so that the individual parts do not lose their adhesion. After unscrewing, you can simply put them in a bucket of warm water and let them dry afterwards on an old towel. This minimizes the risk that the individual parts will not sit tightly enough. 
  4. Check profile depth 
    Before installing your old tyres, you should check whether the profile still has the legal minimum depth of 1.6 mm. To ensure that your tyres still have enough grip on the road and that you do not let down even in extreme situations, you should have your tyres renewed with a residual profile of 1.3-1.4 mm. 
  5. Check the wear pattern of the tire 
    If you remove your previous tyres, you should check that their wear pattern is uniform. This means: are all tyres worn evenly or, for example, do the right tyres wear out more than the left tyres? If the wear pattern is uneven, we recommend adding new tyres. The tyres at least worn on the rear axle should be mounted to prevent the rear of the vehicle from erupting. It is also advisable to have an axle measurement carried out if the tyres do not wear out evenly. 
  6. Retightening the screws 
    Whether you change the wheels yourself or this was taken over in a workshop – after the first 100 km, the wheel screws should be re-drawn. You can also take this on at home, because it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with body strength. However, retightening the screws is a precautionary measure to ensure that the screws do not loosen while driving.
  7. Check the tyre pressure 
    With each tyre change, the tyre pressure should also be checked, because if the tyre pressure is too low, then the braking distance is longer and the risk of aquaplaning increases. If the tyre pressure is too high, the grip on the ground is reduced and the risk of slipping increases. In addition, both scenarios increase fuel consumption and wear. See the tyre pressure table for your car for a list of recommended tyre pressure for your front and rear tyres. Various stress situations are also listed there. You should adjust your tyre pressure to the stress situation you have most on a daily basis. However, it is also worth adjusting the tyre pressure before holidays and long journeys, if people are sitting in the car as usual and more luggage is being transported. 
  8. Balancing the tyres 
    Whether you change to summer or winter tires yourself or leave it to a professional, every 2 to 3 years you should have the wheels balanced. Balancing the wheels has a preventive effect, so that no imbalances occur in the tire. Such imbalances, i.e. irregularities and depleting, are reproduced when the mass of the rotating body is not distributed symmetrically to the axis of rotation. Unbalance can lead to irregular wear of the tyres and even damage various components of the steering and chassis. You should also have your tires balanced if you notice that your steering wheel is wobbling at certain speeds or if you experience unusual noisewhile driving.
  9. Store the tyres correctly 
    The tyres should be changed every 6 months and it is important to store the unused wheelset correctly. If the tires are mounted on rims, you should hang them on the rims or stack them on top of each other – tire pockets are good for storage, but tire shelves are clearly the most suitable. Make sure there is still enough air in the tires to avoid damage. It is best to store your tyres in a dry room, as the rubber can become porous when moisturized.
  10. Swap tires diagonally 
    To avoid premature wear, tyres can be replaced diagonally. However, we recommend that you discuss this with a mechanic or make the decision after a wear test.