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 |  May 11 2010, 10:09 AM

winter-tires

Spring means a lot of things. Cleaning your home from top to bottom. Putting the parkas away until the next snow fall. Switching over from the furnace to air conditioning. But one thing you may not have thought of is taking off your winter tires and putting on the all-seasons.

You may be tempted to keep your snows on all year long, but it’s not a good idea. Winter tires wear out more quickly than their all-season counterparts, and they don’t stop as short on dry and wet surfaces. Mark it on your calendar and take them off once the snow has melted for good.

If you’re attempting to do the job yourself, keep these tips in mind:

  1. It’s been a long winter, so before you install the all-seasons, clean off as much of the gunk and loose corrosion that’s been built-up on the mating surfaces of the wheel hub and wheel. While you’re at it, clean off the wheel studs or bolts as well.
  2. Stubborn nut or bolt should be replaced, as you won’t get much clamping force when you reuse damaged nuts or bolts.
  3. It’s time install the tire. Hand tighten the nuts or bolts and pull out your vehicle owner’s manual on how to do it right (usually in a star pattern). You’ll tighten one, then the second one opposite to the first; and so on. Use the car’s lug wrench to tighten them all firmly in place using this pattern.
  4. Remove the car jack and use a torque wrench to tighten the wheels to the recommend value (you’ll find this information in most new car manuals or consult your car dealer). You can pick up a quality torque wrench from any auto parts store. Tighten the wheels in the star pattern described in the third step.
  5. Re-torque the wheels again after taking your car out for a short spin. You’re done!

[Source: Consumer Reports]