OT. Winter/summer tyre/wheel changeover.


Once or twice a year many of us have winter or summer tyres reinstalled or we change over to an extra set of wheels with the appropriate set of tyres for that season.
The following experience we encountered last year could be a warning!
A close relative bought a good quality (low mileage) used car, fitted with an extra set of four winter wheels and tyres; included in the sale were the set of original equipment alloy 'wheels' with summer tyres in excellent condition.
The used car lot in the the city from which the vehicle was being purchased agreed to have a wheel alignment performed (see note) and perform, or have performed, the changeover to the original equipment (summer tyre) wheels.
In the late fall relative and self decided to reinstall the winter wheels ourselves and found that the wrong wheel nuts had been used all summer to secure the 'summer wheels'! They were the wrong fit!
The correct, 'alloy wheel' nuts we found in a bag in the trunk of the car. The incorrect (winter wheel) nuts had the wrong taper and could have worn through those original equipment alloy wheels or badly chafed them and/or enlarged the holes!
In many tyre establishments the task of changing over wheels and tyres appears to be often delegated to the most junior mechanical staff, often apprentices? But in this case we were surprised since the mechanical staff at the location from which the vehicle was purchased seemed to be experienced and not juniors!
Other considerations are that wheel nuts should be tightened to specification using a torque wrench or 'torque nut socket'. If not tight enough nuts may loosen and if too tight may crack an alloy wheel. Also it's not pleasant to be at the side of the highway trying to get 'too tight' wheel nuts off to put on the spare.
Note: Further when the vehicle was road tested before purchase it mis- steered and the tyres appeared to be slightly oddly worn. As agreed and before sale was finalized seller did have a front wheel alignment performed, with all four original equipment wheels installed. And the realignment info. was in the vehicle.
The new owner later took the vehicle to a trusted and competent realignment mechanic and when the front end realignment settings were checked, they appeared pretty close to correct. But it also appeared that a rear end realignment check had NOT been performed and that was causing the the vehicle to steer strangely and was most likely (in addition toruts and potholes) responsible for the odd tyre wear. One thought was that there had been some damage to the rear suspension, but not so. It was all a matter of proper alignment, AND using the proper wheel nuts!
So just a safety suggestion; be aware of who how and what is being done when one gets tyres/wheels changed over!
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Wait to you find out they forgot to torque your lug nuts. I lost three nuts on left front and two on the right. I was on the Ohio Turnpike when I thought I had a low tire. Thank you Chysler Dealer of Mentor, Ohio. Jerry
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On Mar 5, 1:25 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Jerry - OHIO) wrote:

heh, I got a better one... took my '62 Studebaker to a local garage to have a tire mounted, got on down the road and when I stopped at a gas station on the way home to get gas, I found that the hubcap hadn't been put on straight so the valve stem was cocked over and the tire was half flat. Took the hubcap off to reclock it and found that all five lug nuts had been run on with the flat side in! Amazingly enough none were loose and I hadn't noticed any vibration while driving.
About five minutes later I discovered that my driver's side motor mount was broken when I, um, "assertively" accelerated out of the gas station, but I can't blame that on the garage. (did scare the whee out of me though, as when the engine torqued over it jammed the accelerator linkage at WOT, and a Stude 289/4bbl is not without a certain amount of beans.)
nate
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Were the left hand nuts on the wrong side ??? Jerry
http://community.webtv.net/awoodbutcher/MyWoodWorkingPage
http://community.webtv.net/awoodbutcher/1974RuppCentair
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Jerry - OHIO wrote:

I know pre-late-60s Mopar did that little (annoying to the uninitiated) trick. Did Studebaker as well?
-- aem sends...
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Good post!!
I am considering getting real snow tires next winter
Would using steel wheels for ALL tires help alleviate this problem somewhat?
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

I bought snow tires last year. For the wheels, I picked them up at the wreckers for $15 each. Steel wheels, the same ones that come stock on my vehicle.
Fortunately, I'm not one of the kids whose self confidence depends upon having custom wheels.
Jon
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Me either!
I'm not into vanity much lol
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On Mar 5, 8:20 pm, snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

Agree: For our 2002 Nissan pickup (assembled in the USA!) with still only around 60,000 miles, we early on acquired a second set of four steel wheels (which happen to be chrome) on which we mount four steel studded snow tyres. These replace the 'summer alloys' (Alloy wheels, especially on a pickup, being a completely unnecessary 'option' in our opinion, but that's the way the truck came!). Normally studded tyres are only permitted, in this area, from November 1st, to last of April, but last year, as allowed at DOT discretion under the regulations, that was advanced by 15 days last fall. There is one area 'up north', btw, where there has been talk of making studded tyres mandatory equipment during each winter! In this area, not so far north, we are having much less snow these last few years but more often temperatures around freezing which then leads to icing, and slippery conditions. Given a choice we would have all steel wheels; with a second set for winter tyres, which can be a) Inspected and fixed up during summer/ repainted etc And b) Avoiding the twice yearly breaking down of tyres from rims. Having extra wheels with winter tyres permanently mounted also allows one to do the changeover oneself and avoid the inevitable rush at service stations each fall and spring!
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terry wrote:

Been 20 years since I bothered with winter tires, mainly since winters around here have been so mild lately, plus the relative where I was stashing the extra set moved away. (I was living in apartments at the time...) But when I did do that, I also had a spare set of rims. Nice wide Goodrich TAs for summer, and narrower taller all seasons front/REAL snows rear, for the winter. The summer rims were off a Fox platform T-bird, and half an inch wider than the winter rims that came on the Fairmont wagon in question. Those wider rims and plus-one tires made a difference in summer, but the narrower more aggressive tires helped a lot in the snow,
-- aem sends....
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Doubt you can get steel wheels for a lot of cars today. I can't get them for mine and I'm not going to spend $150 for an alloy wheel. I've not used snow tires since the 1970's anyway. Ice is more of a problem than snow anyway. This morning a little dusting got slippery and I saw five cars off the road including two 4WD. One was a truck with a plow. One was on its roof, another tipped over 45 degrees against a tree. All within about 8 miles and within a 20 minute time frame. . Sometimes people just don't know when to slow down.
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They also might not know. That if you try to accelerate while going up hill, you're more like to spin out. the two times I've got off the road, that's how. Going uphill, and decide to go a bit faster. Touch the gas a bit, and suddenly I'm all over the road.
--
Christopher A. Young
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