Author Topic: DIY seasonal tire change saves time and money  (Read 564 times)

Alternatepriorities

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DIY seasonal tire change saves time and money
« on: April 13, 2018, 11:55:44 AM »
Yesterday I swapped the winter tires out for summer tires on our '04 Tacoma and '08 Fit. It took me an hour and I was reminded of the stunning ROI a second set of rims provides living somewhere that requires seasonal tire changes.

The cheapest I've seen in Anchorage is $12.50 to mount and balance a 14" tire and $15 for a 16" tire. So an hour of work saved $110 ($50 for the Fit and $60 for the Tacoma). That's $135 an hour before taxes in the 12% tax bracket, but it gets better. It usually takes at least an hour per vehicle to get tires mounted and balance at the shop this time of year since everyone else is there too and it's a 15 minute drive each way. It actually saves an hour per vehicle to do it yourself! As a final bonus my heart rate and calorie expenditure while changing tires matches a moderate intensity workout.

That's two hours and $110 saved plus a nice workout twice a year for the life of the vehicles. Yet many people take their car to the shop twice a year instead. If you use seasonal tires buy a second set of rims even if you have to pay for them...

My 14" rims were -$25. I found an under priced set of mounted tires on Craig's list, mounted my winter tires on the rims and then resold the tires unmounted for a profit.
My 16" rims came with the winter tires (also through Craig's list) and were the same price as buying a set of tires and having them mounted and balanced on my summer rims...
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 12:09:57 PM by Alternatepriorities »

ThatGuy

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Re: DIY seasonal tire change saves time and money
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2018, 08:04:10 PM »
My last three sets of tires I bought used already mounted on wheels.  Two from Craigslist and one from the junkyard.  Much cheaper, the only problem is getting rid of all the extra tires/wheels when the tires are worn out.  Fortunately the recycling program here has a location that takes used tires either on or off the wheel.

Gone Fishing

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Re: DIY seasonal tire change saves time and money
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2018, 06:46:31 PM »
Better to leave them on a dedicated rim than risk bead damage from all the mounting/unmounting.  I bought a Harbor Freight tire changer (with a coupon) years ago and have used it a ton for tractor tires, trailer tires, and car tires.  I've got a set right now ready to go on my wife's car. Still have to pay for balancing, bit it has been a huge value.

HipGnosis

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Re: DIY seasonal tire change saves time and money
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 10:14:33 AM »
I have 2 summer, performance tires on my car and 2 all season tires.
I rotate the tires front to back; putting the summer tires on the front in spring (front wheel drive car) and the all seasons on the front in fall.

I drive the car less that 5,000 miles a year, so I replace tires for old age (>5 yrs) before they are worn out.

JLee

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Re: DIY seasonal tire change saves time and money
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2018, 12:18:32 PM »
I have 2 summer, performance tires on my car and 2 all season tires.
I rotate the tires front to back; putting the summer tires on the front in spring (front wheel drive car) and the all seasons on the front in fall.

I drive the car less that 5,000 miles a year, so I replace tires for old age (>5 yrs) before they are worn out.

If you drive in snow at all that is extremely dangerous.  If you do have to run mismatched tires, it's safest to put the better tires on the back than it is on the front, otherwise you'll be prone to catastrophic oversteer.

https://www.tirerack.com/winter/tech/techpage.jsp?techid=164&

https://blog.tirerack.com/blog/hot-seller/winter-tires-with-all-seasons-mismatched-is-it-safe

HipGnosis

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Re: DIY seasonal tire change saves time and money
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2018, 09:40:05 AM »
I have 2 summer, performance tires on my car and 2 all season tires.
I rotate the tires front to back; putting the summer tires on the front in spring (front wheel drive car) and the all seasons on the front in fall.

I drive the car less that 5,000 miles a year, so I replace tires for old age (>5 yrs) before they are worn out.

If you drive in snow at all that is extremely dangerous.  If you do have to run mismatched tires, it's safest to put the better tires on the back than it is on the front, otherwise you'll be prone to catastrophic oversteer.
I learned how to drive in Minn., and now live in WI.  IOW; I learned how to drive in snow.  I learned it in rear wheel drive vehicles before all season tires existed.  I have a LOT of experience in snow.  I actually enjoy driving in snow - except when I catch up to someone that doesn't know how to drive in snow (I abhor moms in 4x4 SUVs!!).   'Catastrophic oversteer'... OH MY!!  LOL   I still do doughnuts in snow for fun!!

JLee

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Re: DIY seasonal tire change saves time and money
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2018, 09:47:22 AM »
I have 2 summer, performance tires on my car and 2 all season tires.
I rotate the tires front to back; putting the summer tires on the front in spring (front wheel drive car) and the all seasons on the front in fall.

I drive the car less that 5,000 miles a year, so I replace tires for old age (>5 yrs) before they are worn out.

If you drive in snow at all that is extremely dangerous.  If you do have to run mismatched tires, it's safest to put the better tires on the back than it is on the front, otherwise you'll be prone to catastrophic oversteer.
I learned how to drive in Minn., and now live in WI.  IOW; I learned how to drive in snow.  I learned it in rear wheel drive vehicles before all season tires existed.  I have a LOT of experience in snow.  I actually enjoy driving in snow - except when I catch up to someone that doesn't know how to drive in snow (I abhor moms in 4x4 SUVs!!).   'Catastrophic oversteer'... OH MY!!  LOL   I still do doughnuts in snow for fun!!

And I drove RWD emergency vehicles for a living - in northern NH. ;)

You can't beat physics, though.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 09:49:37 AM by JLee »

dhc

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Re: DIY seasonal tire change saves time and money
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2018, 08:00:39 PM »
I'm always impressed by people who change their own tires, and I know it's not that hard with a second set of rims, but I've also come to appreciate that Discount Tire will change them (again, assuming a second set of rims) for free each season. And since this season's changeover was also the point at which it was time for new summer tires, I was especially pleased today when they swapped the initial set I'd bought (which was OK and what they'd had in stock) for my choice tires (with better gas mileage and which I'd been happy with before), for no extra labor and only the difference in price, after about 3 weeks on the old ones.

JLee

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Re: DIY seasonal tire change saves time and money
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2018, 08:06:27 AM »
I'm always impressed by people who change their own tires, and I know it's not that hard with a second set of rims, but I've also come to appreciate that Discount Tire will change them (again, assuming a second set of rims) for free each season. And since this season's changeover was also the point at which it was time for new summer tires, I was especially pleased today when they swapped the initial set I'd bought (which was OK and what they'd had in stock) for my choice tires (with better gas mileage and which I'd been happy with before), for no extra labor and only the difference in price, after about 3 weeks on the old ones.

I miss Discount Tire. They do flat repairs for free, too - even if you didn't buy your tires from them.

Alternatepriorities

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Re: DIY seasonal tire change saves time and money
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2018, 01:59:39 PM »
I'm always impressed by people who change their own tires, and I know it's not that hard with a second set of rims, but I've also come to appreciate that Discount Tire will change them (again, assuming a second set of rims) for free each season. And since this season's changeover was also the point at which it was time for new summer tires, I was especially pleased today when they swapped the initial set I'd bought (which was OK and what they'd had in stock) for my choice tires (with better gas mileage and which I'd been happy with before), for no extra labor and only the difference in price, after about 3 weeks on the old ones.

I miss Discount Tire. They do flat repairs for free, too - even if you didn't buy your tires from them.

I've missed Discount Tire since moving back to Alaska. On the upside I learned how to repair my own flats while living off the road system 400 miles from the nearest tire shop. Most of the time it's not really as difficult as I assumed it would. It's a handy option to have on some of the roads up here.

JLee

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Re: DIY seasonal tire change saves time and money
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2018, 02:06:39 PM »
I'm always impressed by people who change their own tires, and I know it's not that hard with a second set of rims, but I've also come to appreciate that Discount Tire will change them (again, assuming a second set of rims) for free each season. And since this season's changeover was also the point at which it was time for new summer tires, I was especially pleased today when they swapped the initial set I'd bought (which was OK and what they'd had in stock) for my choice tires (with better gas mileage and which I'd been happy with before), for no extra labor and only the difference in price, after about 3 weeks on the old ones.

I miss Discount Tire. They do flat repairs for free, too - even if you didn't buy your tires from them.

I've missed Discount Tire since moving back to Alaska. On the upside I learned how to repair my own flats while living off the road system 400 miles from the nearest tire shop. Most of the time it's not really as difficult as I assumed it would. It's a handy option to have on some of the roads up here.

It's a valuable skill to know, that's for sure!  I keep a repair kit and compressor in my truck, but Discount's repairs involve removing the tire and patching it from the inside, which is the better option if available.