Wheels and Tires

First time changing/swapping tires - can I do it with the jack/wrench provided in trunk?

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First time changing/swapping tires - can I do it with the jack/wrench provided in trunk?

Hi all

I looked up some YT videos on how to swap tires at home garage and many recomended using a low profile flat jack as it makes it super easy + using couple of jack stands (in-case if the flat jack fails) + torque impact gun.

Has anyone here changed the tires (on rims) already with the supplied jack/torque wrench in the trunk ? I'm doing it on our family car which is an older civic (2011).

The part I'm concerned of is the torque at the end after putting the wheels on - on YT videos, they show you how you set it on a wrench and then you keep torque until it clicks - I suppose that's a must have for this job?

Any help would be much appreciated.
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That jack is meant for putting on the spare tire in an emergency. I would not recommend using it for regular tire swaps.

Yes, a torque wrench is a must. The wheel nuts have a specific tightening torque value. Too little and they can come loose. Too tight and you can damage parts like the wheel nut, stud, wheel, brake disc, or hub.
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derass wrote: That jack is meant for putting on the spare tire in an emergency. I would not recommend using it for regular tire swaps.

Yes, a torque wrench is a must. The wheel nuts have a specific tightening torque value. Too little and they can come loose. Too tight and you can damage parts like the wheel nut, stud, wheel, brake disc, or hub.
oh wow, ok thanks derass, I didn't even realize that - I saw one of the YT videos of a person changing spare tires on his mustang so now that makes sense, you have to use the proper tools for the full swap.

I will just order the
1) breaker bar with 3/4 socket extension <- I suppose this is the tool that should have the settings for my car wheel's required toruqe?
2) Quick jump jack (it looks like Pittsburgh brand is popular and 2.5 ton should be good for a sedan)
3) Pair of jack stands

anything else that is necessary for the winter to all-season swap?

thanks in advance.
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You need two types of tools. One to loosen the wheel nuts, and another to tighten them.

To loosen, a breaker bar is just a plain long wrench to give you more leverage. You can also try using a normal 1/2" ratchet, but a breaker bar just makes it easier. An impact wrench uses compressed air, or electricity to do that "hard" work for you easier and faster.

To tighten, a torque wrench is the precision instrument that tightens the wheel nuts to the specified value. It should not be used for loosening the wheels nuts.

Canadian Tire sells a nice tire swap kit that includes both a breaker bar and torque wrench in a case.

Be sure to work on a hard level surface, like the concrete pad of a garage, and chock the wheels before lifting the car. You can use pieces of lumber, or rocks, or bricks.

Make sure you know where to put the jack and stands too. The stands go under the side as shown in your owner's manual. But you will have to Google where a floor jack goes on your particular car. In general, that is at the front center, and rear renter of the car.

If you've never done this before, I suggest asking a friend who works on cars to show you. Jacking up a car improperly can damage it, or inure you, or even kill you. It's the kind of thing that's best taught in person.
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May 19, 2005
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you can do it with the stuff in the trunk. do one wheel at a time. tighten lug nuts. go for a quick drive. tighten again.
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CollageStudent wrote: you can do it with the stuff in the trunk. do one wheel at a time. tighten lug nuts. go for a quick drive. tighten again.
This is what I did when I was a college student. Don't forget to put one of the wheel under right next to the jack.
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Dec 6, 2012
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Yesterday I swapped tires on my car for the first time by myself, using the jack included in the trunk. It would probably be much faster with hydraulic jack, but it's not like I am too stressed for time these days...Smiling Face With Open Mouth
The tools I used were 1/2 inch torque wrench/breaker bar combo I got last week from Canadian Tire sale, impact socket (19 mm for my car) and impact wrench (not really necessary, but saves time).
As derass mentioned already, be sure to put parking brake on and chock the wheels.
Then I just used breaker bar to loosen the nuts, then jacked the wheel up, used impact wrench to remove all the nuts, removed the wheel with winter tire, put new wheel with all-season, and again used impact wrench to tighten the nuts a little.
I tightened them more in star pattern with breaker bar, then I lowered the jack so wheel touched the surface and used torque wrench to tighten them again in star pattern as per specs in my car's manual. Lowered the wheel completely, removed jack and repeated the process for all remaining wheels.
I found it easier than I expected and I am planning on continuing doing it in the future myself, as it will save me both money ($50 x 2 cars x 2 seasonal changes) and time. Not mentioning doing it properly: the nuts were over-tightened by my mechanic who did the last swap, and I also found some damage from using the hydraulic jacks in places designed for car's jack only.
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Doable but not fun because it'll take more effort and be slower than if you had better tools avilable.
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TorontoEh wrote: oh wow, ok thanks derass, I didn't even realize that - I saw one of the YT videos of a person changing spare tires on his mustang so now that makes sense, you have to use the proper tools for the full swap.

I will just order the
1) breaker bar with 3/4 socket extension <- I suppose this is the tool that should have the settings for my car wheel's required toruqe?
2) Quick jump jack (it looks like Pittsburgh brand is popular and 2.5 ton should be good for a sedan)
3) Pair of jack stands

anything else that is necessary for the winter to all-season swap?

thanks in advance.
Good thing you're ordering the proper tools to swap tires.
The Jack in your trunk is for emergency purposes. i.e. if you need to change a flat tire while you're on the road somewhere.
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Oh wow, thanks so much everyone, I appreciate all the feedback. Yes, not handy but then I'm thinking, we're free after the 9-5 so why not attempt to do it myself, I mean I gotta learn how change a spare and not rely on CAA.

But I agree with you all: get proper tools and do it right.
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TorontoEh wrote: Oh wow, thanks so much everyone, I appreciate all the feedback. Yes, not handy but then I'm thinking, we're free after the 9-5 so why not attempt to do it myself, I mean I gotta learn how change a spare and not rely on CAA.

But I agree with you all: get proper tools and do it right.
The initial cost to purchase the proper tools will be recovered in the future from saving money from having someone else changing your tires (i.e. $50/seasonal change).
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Except when I have had access to a floor jack, I've used the jack in my car ('04 Corolla - not beige) to change wheels. A breaker bar is very helpful for additional leverage to loosen nuts (especially if you don't have an impact wrench, which I don't). Torque wrench is a good tool to have. That said, I haven't owned one in decades and have never had a loose lug nut (I do re-tighten but that's been apparently unnecessary).
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torwizard wrote: The tools I used were 1/2 inch torque wrench/breaker bar combo I got last week from Canadian Tire sale, impact socket (19 mm for my car) and impact wrench (not really necessary, but saves time)... Then I just used breaker bar to loosen the nuts, then jacked the wheel up, used impact wrench to remove all the nuts, removed the wheel with winter tire, put new wheel with all-season, and again used impact wrench to tighten the nuts a little. I tightened them more in star pattern with breaker bar, then I lowered the jack so wheel touched the surface and used torque wrench to tighten them again in star pattern as per specs in my car's manual...
If you have an impact wrench, there's no need to use a breaker bar. That's the entire point. Assuming it's a decent impact wrench, it should have enough strength to remove, and partially tighten the wheel nuts with the tire off of the ground.
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derass wrote: If you have an impact wrench, there's no need to use a breaker bar. That's the entire point. Assuming it's a decent impact wrench, it should have enough strength to remove, and partially tighten the wheel nuts with the tire off of the ground.
Well, as I said, it was my first time doing that... I was afraid of over-tightening the nuts, so I was very gentle with the impact wrench Smiling Face With Open Mouth. Will try to skip the breaker bar step the next time...
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torwizard wrote: Well, as I said, it was my first time doing that... I was afraid of over-tightening the nuts, so I was very gentle with the impact wrench Smiling Face With Open Mouth. Will try to skip the breaker bar step the next time...
I assume the impact wrench has adjustable power settings? Use full power to remove the wheel nuts, but then use the lowest, or second lowest power setting to partially tighten them. That should get them to about 75% of the torque spec, and then you do the rest with a torque wrench and the tire on the ground.
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Feb 15, 2003
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thriftshopper wrote: Except when I have had access to a floor jack, I've used the jack in my car ('04 Corolla - not beige) to change wheels. A breaker bar is very helpful for additional leverage to loosen nuts (especially if you don't have an impact wrench, which I don't). Torque wrench is a good tool to have. That said, I haven't owned one in decades and have never had a loose lug nut (I do re-tighten but that's been apparently unnecessary).
I find lug nuts are more prone to be over tightened than under tightened. Most people can easily exceed 80-90 ft-lbs required to put on a lut nut.
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torwizard wrote: Yesterday I swapped tires on my car for the first time by myself, using the jack included in the trunk. It would probably be much faster with hydraulic jack, but it's not like I am too stressed for time these days...Smiling Face With Open Mouth
The tools I used were 1/2 inch torque wrench/breaker bar combo I got last week from Canadian Tire sale, impact socket (19 mm for my car) and impact wrench (not really necessary, but saves time).
As derass mentioned already, be sure to put parking brake on and chock the wheels.
Then I just used breaker bar to loosen the nuts, then jacked the wheel up, used impact wrench to remove all the nuts, removed the wheel with winter tire, put new wheel with all-season, and again used impact wrench to tighten the nuts a little.
I tightened them more in star pattern with breaker bar, then I lowered the jack so wheel touched the surface and used torque wrench to tighten them again in star pattern as per specs in my car's manual. Lowered the wheel completely, removed jack and repeated the process for all remaining wheels.
I found it easier than I expected and I am planning on continuing doing it in the future myself, as it will save me both money ($50 x 2 cars x 2 seasonal changes) and time. Not mentioning doing it properly: the nuts were over-tightened by my mechanic who did the last swap, and I also found some damage from using the hydraulic jacks in places designed for car's jack only.
Thanks great summary, in my case I'll read where to put the floor jack but I'm concerned that I may damage my cars underbay.

I also need to order some working gloves to get a grip + knee pads (long term if I'm going to do it myself 2x a year)

I don't have any lumber to chock the wheels so will see if I can find those end blocks or bricks to protect the car slipping back.

Thanks everyone for helping me out.
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Hi folks, is it worth getting the knee pads from Dollarama or get it from princess auto

Any recommendations on the 2.5/3 ton Jack? My order from CT got cancelled
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A 2 ton jack is more than enough for civic. Knee pad whatever u feel the most comfy
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macrossr wrote: A 2 ton jack is more than enough for civic. Knee pad whatever u feel the most comfy
That's good to know. Also for couple of Jack stands like someone mentioned above.

I think I'm good to tackle this later this week.
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