Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Changing your tyres yourself

Phew!  I just finished changing all four tyres in one go.  What a workout, I'm also quite dirty from the process.

So, for those who don't know, in Canada, you should change to winter tyres in the winter, it gives you better grip in freezing conditions (there is no difference on black ice, you need spikes to grip on that!).  Winter Tyres are softer so they operate better in the lower temperature ranges.  Someone said to me that the optimum temperature was 7 degrees celcius.  Then you need to change back to your summer tires (or all seasons) in spring. Having previously gone to the trouble of buying winter tyres and having someone fit them for me, I wanted to save the cash and put the all seasons back on myself.

My first problem was that I have a car with run flats and no spare tyre.  That means the car doesn't come equipped with a jack.  I sorted this out with a colleague by borrowing his jack and I was all ready! Well, I thought I was.  The other thing you need to change tyres is a crow bar!
I decided I wasn't going to let a little thing like a crow bar stop me from changing my tyres tonight! I started asking the neighbours.  The first neighbour was very kind, but was in the same boat as me (except he wasn't bothered about changing his tyres himself).
The second neighbour thought I was plain crazy and couldn't find his crowbar or even his spare tyre anywhere.  He gave me a number for a guy who would come to where the car was parked and change them for $100.
The third neighbour was again very kind and had a Jetta, so I knew where the spare was and that they would have a crowbar.  Thank you so much kind neighbour! (at least I had met this one before, maybe that made they a little more amenable)

Once that drama was complete I finally managed to change the first tyre and noticed a plastic cap in the centre of the steel part that the wheel fits on.  I tried fitting the wheel on and it went on no problem.  I put the bolts in and they went in no problem.  I let the car off the jack and it all looked good.  Then I thought let me google this, I remembered the salesman that sold me the winter tyres talking about plastic spacers and maybe this was them.
A quick google search later and I realised that I definitely had to take them off! The guy ended up driving the car with the spacers on all the way to the garage and he said the car was wobbly and shaky.  The mechanic reckoned that he could easily have died.

I took the tyre off again and took the plastic spacer off, then changed the rest of the tyres and took the car for a spin.  All felt good.

If there are any updates tomorrow I'll let you all know, or maybe I won't because I won't be in any condition to post!