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Tyre swap costs

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
In the past I have paid £15 a wheel to swap my tyres between summer and winter. Just booked them in at the same place and this time it's £25 a wheel. So has everyone found the cost increased or do you still pay less than this?
I'm now looking at some cheap wheels so that I can swap wheels over myself rather than paying £200 a year!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I pay £10 a wheel in Glasgow. Been the same price for years.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
£25 seems way too much. I pay £15 for a puncture repair, which is more work than a tyre swap.
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Spare rims make swapping winter tyres much cheaper.
I usually get charged £5 / corner (kwik fit / farmers)
Though often local-garage do it for free if car in for other work like MOT at the time.
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Been £50 for the four at my dealer for many years. But have now gone over to Michelin Cross Climates to save the hassle Madeye-Smiley
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I pay £36 for all 4 wheels to be swapped by my local independent, who supplied the winter alloys and winter tyres. For that, they pick-up and drop-off the wheels from my home and will do a torque check when they drop-off as well (although I do that myself now, see below).


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Wed 19-01-22 22:04; edited 1 time in total
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I have the car serviced and at the same time they change the wheels. No charge. But then I am an Insurance Broker, and they are clients.
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My Toyota dealer charged £50 for swapping all 4 tyres too. I've also gone to Continental All Season Contact tyres.

One drawback of having a spare set of wheels these days is most cars have TPMS monitoring of tyre pressure, if you don't have TPMS sensors in the spare set as well then the warning light on the dash will come on, which is an MoT fail if you put the car through the test in that situation. So buying TPMS sensors and fitting them to the spare set of wheels is an additional cost.
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We have two sets of wheels and change them ourselves.

Or rather the wife does Embarassed Embarassed
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Timmycb5 wrote:
I pay £15 for a puncture repair, which is more work than a tyre swap.


I had a screw in the groove of my tyre. Bloke pushed a tool in with a bung, pulled tool & trimmed the rubber bung. Cost was a pocket change.

for 4x tyres - all being labour work, then I would not pay much more than £10 per wheel.
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Quote:

One drawback of having a spare set of wheels these days is most cars have TPMS monitoring of tyre pressure

The TPMS on my wife's skoda simply compares the rolling radius of the tyres and reports if one drops indicating a puncture. There is nothing on the wheel it self
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Used to swap and it was £20 per tyre a few years ago - included balancing and everything. But a bit of a faff £160 within a few months just changing over and back. Have switched to Michelin Cross Climates which are fab. Best thing to do in the long run if you are WFH now like me - don't use the car as much so tread will last way longer.
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Skoda Yeti: we do it, takes 90 mins…not least since the last time I asked locally the cost had rocketed - and that’s in a laid back rural context…

Second set of steel rims - painted with thick enamel black paint to resist corrosion

Stored on German ‘tyre tree’ in workshop - uses little space

Rebalanced every two years

Switched by me after checking tread depth and any damage - using skoda car Jack and my torque wrench - takes 90 mins to remove one set and wash clean prior to storage - then reinstall other set - paying attention to chalked mark as to which wheel is which - osf, nsf, etc - and check suspension etc at same time (last time spotted split gaiter) - click click 120nm on bolts

Do pressures, reset tyre pressure monitor system - ignition on, press button for 5 secs

Done
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@tarrantd, £15 around here for a swap at independent (non chain shop) with balance.

However, we run winter spec continuously and don't switch. They have 130mph constant speed rating "H" which is way beyond any sensible and legal use the family car is pur to, and so makes no practical difference in real terms.

@valais2, "Switched by me after checking tread depth and any damage - using skoda car Jack and my torque wrench - takes 90 mins to remove one set and wash clean prior to storage - then reinstall other set - paying attention to chalked mark as to which wheel is which - osf, nsf, etc - and check suspension etc at same time (last time spotted split gaiter) - click click 120nm on bolts"
sound advice too, I usually remove clean prep and wax insiside and out alloy wheels once a year prior to mot testing as it gives me confidence in inspection of significant components to allow maintenance planning.
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£10 a tyre when I last did it in Stamford, Lincolnshire.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
valais2 wrote:
Skoda Yeti: we do it, takes 90 mins…not least since the last time I asked locally the cost had rocketed - and that’s in a laid back rural context…

Second set of steel rims - painted with thick enamel black paint to resist corrosion

Stored on German ‘tyre tree’ in workshop - uses little space

Rebalanced every two years

Switched by me after checking tread depth and any damage - using skoda car Jack and my torque wrench - takes 90 mins to remove one set and wash clean prior to storage - then reinstall other set - paying attention to chalked mark as to which wheel is which - osf, nsf, etc - and check suspension etc at same time (last time spotted split gaiter) - click click 120nm on bolts

Do pressures, reset tyre pressure monitor system - ignition on, press button for 5 secs

Done


I do recommend getting a cheap trolley jack. Think I paid £25 and it is a lot better than using the bottle jack in the boot
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Mr.Egg wrote:
Timmycb5 wrote:
I pay £15 for a puncture repair, which is more work than a tyre swap.


I had a screw in the groove of my tyre. Bloke pushed a tool in with a bung, pulled tool & trimmed the rubber bung. Cost was a pocket change.

for 4x tyres - all being labour work, then I would not pay much more than £10 per wheel.


The puncture repair bungs are effective and safe, but legislation here says that to comply with industry advised standards that the bung should be backed with a vulcanized patch inside the tire carcass to avoid potential failure.

I do keep the bung and glue kit to hand though as it's easy for a self repair if really stuck, later to get the tire removed and patched though. Last used to help a motorcyclist to get home.
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From Free to £15 per wheel. Depends who you get and how they are feeling on the day. Mrs Sno Trax usually gets it done for free. rolling eyes

There are two TPMS systems. The simpler system uses the difference in the rolling radius to alert. The other system uses pressure sensors inside the wheel which report actual tyre pressures to the dashboard. These are specific to each corner and need reprogramming if wheels are swapped or rotated. Some cars will automatically detect these changes and update after a short drive. Annoyingly, Subaru TPMS needs to be reprogrammed using an OBD-2 device. Fortunately, you can get round this by using 'cloned' sensors so the winter and summer set are identical.
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@jedster, …good point. The supplied scissors jack is indeed a minimalist affair, albeit well built and well designed. I am careful about where to jack, since badly applied trolley jacks can wreak havoc….

I will take a look at trolley jacks….

best and thanks
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£18 the set in Surrey.
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£15 incl balance per wheel London.....

Switched to All-Seasons now.
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Quote:

We have two sets of wheels and change them ourselves.

Or rather the wife does

Quite right too, @Layne. That way you don't need to worry when she's out on her own that she'll need to call for you to rescue her if she gets a puncture. wink
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To DIY you need a torque wrench (for re-fitting) and a 2 foot "breaker bar", the latter to loosen wheel nuts/ bolts which are generally very tight on modern cars. Although I have a trolley jack I only ever use the supplied body jack for wheels, with a piece of wood under it. Sometimes alloy wheels stick to the hubs and you have to wack them with your foot to free them. A bit of copper ease applied prevents this.
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Got rid of locking wheel nuts, bought a trolley jack and impact driver. With 3 cars in family each with winter tyres was a worthwhile investment.
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billb wrote:
To DIY you need a torque wrench (for re-fitting) and a 2 foot "breaker bar".


I’ve swapped wheels around many times and never needed either. Torque setting for wheelnuts isn’t critical - just as long as they are tight enough - and a bit of foot pressure applied to a wheel wrench has always been quite sufficient to undo the nuts.
I do always make a point of loosening & re-tightening the wheelnuts any time the wheels have been removed by someone other than me, eg. garage, tyre centre cos the lads do them up waaaay too tight IME
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£20 cash to change 4 wheels in York. Summer and winter wheels are different sizes.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Different size wheels is unusual. Why would that be?
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@Red Leon, It's all about getting an even torque on all nuts/ bolts especially with alloy wheels as there is a risk of rim distortion if torqued unevenly. And if you can loosen wheel nuts torqued at 140Nm with a standard brace, you're pretty strong! (unless you have a long supplied wheel brace).
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billb wrote:
@Red Leon, It's all about getting an even torque on all nuts/ bolts especially with alloy wheels as there is a risk of rim distortion if torqued unevenly. And if you can loosen wheel nuts torqued at 140Nm with a standard brace, you're pretty strong! (unless you have a long supplied wheel brace).


The VW supplied tyre tool is hollow. I found a narrow masonry chisel in the DIY shop for maybe €5 which slips inside nicely, giving increased leverage. Never had a problem with that, and I agree that the standard torque applied at garages is a bit much for the supplied tool alone.

Incidentally, apropos alloys sticking, the easiest way to get them off is just to gently lower the jack after removing the bolts until a bit of load comes on. They will pop right off then. If you are worried about the car crashing down, you can put one of the spare tyres under the sill next to the jack.
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**gently weeps whilst considering driving to UK for cheap tyre swap****
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@JamesHJ, "Incidentally, apropos alloys sticking, the easiest way to get them off is just to gently lower the jack after removing the bolts until a bit of load comes on. They will pop right off then. If you are worried about the car crashing down, you can put one of the spare tyres under the sill next to the jack."

I'd certainly advise against that, just undo the bolts one rotation before jacking and then move the vehicle back and forth if they are prone to sticking. It'll just rotate them on their spigot (centering location between wheel and hub) to free them both from the spiggot and corrosion on the back face of the wheel against the hub.
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Red Leon wrote:
billb wrote:
To DIY you need a torque wrench (for re-fitting) and a 2 foot "breaker bar".


I’ve swapped wheels around many times and never needed either. Torque setting for wheelnuts isn’t critical - just as long as they are tight enough - and a bit of foot pressure applied to a wheel wrench has always been quite sufficient to undo the nuts.
I do always make a point of loosening & re-tightening the wheelnuts any time the wheels have been removed by someone other than me, eg. garage, tyre centre cos the lads do them up waaaay too tight IME


Absolutely.
Generally, the wrench supplied with the car is DESIGNED to deliver the correct torque on or off if used by a "normal" human being,
Problem is most tyre fitters use airguns set to stun!
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ski3 wrote:
@JamesHJ, "Incidentally, apropos alloys sticking, the easiest way to get them off is just to gently lower the jack after removing the bolts until a bit of load comes on. They will pop right off then. If you are worried about the car crashing down, you can put one of the spare tyres under the sill next to the jack."

I'd certainly advise against that, just undo the bolts one rotation before jacking and then move the vehicle back and forth if they are prone to sticking. It'll just rotate them on their spigot (centering location between wheel and hub) to free them both from the spiggot and corrosion on the back face of the wheel against the hub.


That sounds like a better plan for those who plan to have stuck wheels before jacking the car Embarassed

Although thinking about it, I am not sure that I would want a shear force applied to the bolts? Interesting stuff, there must be 100 different schools of doing these things snowHead
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There was a time when I worked in a BMW garage at the weekend and after a particularly unpleasant exchange with one owner a mechanic turned the torque on the air gun to maximum whilst I was helping him put the wheels back on this owner’s 2002. I said ‘Paul that’s way too tight’....he said...’yep...the Fitzwilliam will have fun when he gets a puncture at midnight on Dartmoor...’. Be nice to mechanics.

Right....if galvanic corrosion has fixed your alloys to the hub, use the techniques above to get them off, then put a smear of copper grease around the lip of the hub aperture but only around the lip. That’s the raised lip which has the alloy cap on it, in the centre of the hub. This is enough to prevent them from sticking in future. If in doubt as to which bit this is, put a smear around the hole in the centre of the wheel.

Re torquing up...120nm for VAG...90 first then 100 then 120...doing opposite bolts. Click click click. If no wrench, ie stuck at the side of a French motorway with no torque wrench (they are not THAT expensive) then do them up by hand and then do 1/8 rotation by putting your foot on the brace and just doing that final nip.

Re getting off - if no breaker bar or torque wrench, position the brace so you can stand on it, holding the roof line of the car. Bounce on it. I have found that this will always undo the most stubborn bolt.
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Red Leon wrote:
Different size wheels is unusual. Why would that be?


Many sports/performance vehicles with low profile standard tyres will specify a smaller rim with higher profile winter.

I assume the conversation has become confused between paying the garage to swap wheels or swap tyres. £20 to swap tyres is crazy cheap.
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Bizarrely - given the premium for anything BMW - a BMW Torque wrench from the dealer spares dept, preset to 140Nm (the standard for many BMW models) cost me only £29.14 incl VAT (Part No.: B71.12.6.769.683 Description:'634307/TORQUE WF'). The mechanic confirmed it's fine to use for removing as well as fitting but isn't meant as a daily tool for a mechanic (who'd have an adjustable wrench anyway). Apparently, BMW used to include one with every car but now so many are supplied with runflats, they save a bit by not doing that any more.

Also note that many owners now don't bother with a locking nut, as these are notoriously prone to being stripped after being overtightened. 30 years ago it was worth fitting them, because allows were uncommon enough to be worth stealing, but that no longer applies, given almost all modern cars come with alloys, ex-factory.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Wed 19-01-22 22:14; edited 2 times in total
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Val Desire wrote:
Red Leon wrote:
Different size wheels is unusual. Why would that be?


Many sports/performance vehicles with low profile standard tyres will specify a smaller rim with higher profile winter.
.


Not IME. The suggestion is to use a narrower tyre with a higher profile to maintain circumference. Nothing about smaller wheels.
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Red Leon wrote:
Different size wheels is unusual. Why would that be?

Because most manufacturers recommend smaller diameter wheels and narrower tyres for winter. This is for two reasons. First, it leaves space behind the tyre for conventional chains to rotate safely without fouling the suspension, brake pipes or steering (if FWD). Second, narrower tyres are less prone to aquaplaning (all other things being equal). With the added bonus in snow that they cut into the snow better as well. So on my car, the manufacturer recommends that the summer 18" x 8" wheels with 245mm wide tyres are replaced in winter with 17" x 7.5" wheels and 225mm tyres (or alternatively, even narrower 17"x7" wheels with 205mm tyres). This releases 20mm/2cm of space to fit chains (not half of that, because wheels are offset, so extra width is added mainly on the inside, not equally on both sides of the plane of rotation).

This is the problem behind rental SUVs and 4x4s with low-profile wheels. To avoid having to have a completely separate set of wheels for each vehicle, the rental company will just swap the tyres from summers to winters. But this doesn't leave enough space behind the tyre for conventional chains to rotate. So you pick up your SUV/4x4 from P51 at GVA and it doesn't have any chains included. And if you buy them yourself because you need them to get up/down the mountain, the odds are you'll wrap the chains 'round the suspension/brake pipes and have to be retrieved by a breakdown truck. Then you'll get the bill for repairing the damage, plus the lost income while the car is in repair. The justification will be that you weren't supplied with chains because they don't fit, not because they don't have any. Which is why the rep at the desk usually says "You don't need chains" or implies they have run out - when in reality, it's "You can't fit chains to this spec' of wheel and don't try and buy some yourself because they'll damage the car".

Thus, it's often better to hire a standard car that can take chains and will have them in the boot, rather than an SUV/4x4 which can't take chains and so won't have any, even if you ask.

Umm, sorry @Red Leon, this is perhaps a slight overkill in terms of answering your question .....
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valais2 wrote:
There was a time when I worked in a BMW garage at the weekend and after a particularly unpleasant exchange with one owner a mechanic turned the torque on the air gun to maximum whilst I was helping him put the wheels back on this owner’s 2002. I said ‘Paul that’s way too tight’....he said...’yep...the Fitzwilliam will have fun when he gets a puncture at midnight on Dartmoor...’. Be nice to mechanics.

Right....if galvanic corrosion has fixed your alloys to the hub, use the techniques above to get them off, then put a smear of copper grease around the lip of the hub aperture but only around the lip. That’s the raised lip which has the alloy cap on it, in the centre of the hub. This is enough to prevent them from sticking in future. If in doubt as to which bit this is, put a smear around the hole in the centre of the wheel.

Re torquing up...120nm for VAG...90 first then 100 then 120...doing opposite bolts. Click click click. If no wrench, ie stuck at the side of a French motorway with no torque wrench (they are not THAT expensive) then do them up by hand and then do 1/8 rotation by putting your foot on the brace and just doing that final nip.

Re getting off - if no breaker bar or torque wrench, position the brace so you can stand on it, holding the roof line of the car. Bounce on it. I have found that this will always undo the most stubborn bolt.


Strangely, on the way to the airport once I had a wheel fall off. They said it was because the wheel had been put on too tight. Id had a new tyre fitted just a few days earlier. The garage that had fitted the new tyre never argued, and paid up for all the body damage it had caused.
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I pay £30 for a winter wheel swap (winters on second set) at my local independent in Fleet which I think is too much and I should really buy a trolley jack and torque wrench do it myself.
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