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How Long Does It Take To Change Tires?

Getting the tires on your vehicle changed isn't a complicated process. Rather, it's a matter of following a few steps in proper order. Whether you are changing one tire, or all four, you can expect to spend a bit of time getting it completed. If you've ever been curious how long it will take out of your day to change all four, this post will give you an approximate time. We researched this process from numerous professional sources, so you can have a definitive answer.

The amount of time it will take to change all four tires will depend on the methods and tools you use. Generally, it can take as little as five minutes per tire or as many as 20 minutes each. 

Now that we know how long it can take to change all four tires, we'll take a closer look at the different methods of changing them. You might also be wondering if you have to replace all four tires at once, or how much four new tires will cost. Should you get an alignment after replacing your tires? How do you know if your vehicle is in need of alignment? For the answers to these questions, and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has uncovered.

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repair man balancing a newly installed tire on its rims. How Long Does It Take To Change Tires

Methods of changing all 4 tires at one time

Using a jack

This method of changing all four tires will take the longest, as it requires you to jack up your vehicle four different times. Someone who is adept at changing tires could do this in as little as five minutes per tire. 

Jacking up a car for a tire change isn't difficult. It's a matter of loosening the lug nuts, jacking up the vehicle, and removing the old tire. When the new tire is placed on the vehicle, the lug nuts are tightened, and the vehicle is lowered from the jack. A quick re-tightening of the lug nuts should be done last, as soon as the tire is back on the ground.

Jack stands

Using a jack and jack stands will allow you to get all four tires done in quicker order. For this to work, you'll need to jack up your vehicle, like you are changing a tire. A jack stand is placed next to your jack before the jack is lowered. This is repeated three times, resulting in your vehicle resting off the ground of four jack stands. 

While it's in the air, you change all four tires. Then, you lower each side of the vehicle by raising the jack to remove each jack stand. 

This method involves some risk, and it's best left to someone with some mechanical ability and experience. For a step-by-step tutorial, you can watch this video:

Putting your vehicle on a lift

The pros can change all four tires really fast by using a vehicle lift. This will raise the car completely off the ground, giving access to all four tires simultaneously.

Someone with experience and pneumatic tools can easily remove all four tires quickly and replace them almost as fast. This method is clearly the fastest and the most efficient, although the tools and the lift aren't something you'll typically find in the garage of a shade tree mechanic. 

Car on lift at car service

Do I have to replace all 4 tires at once?

Whether or not you should replace all four tires at once will depend on the drive configuration of your vehicle. Front-wheel or rear-wheel vehicles will not need to have all of the tires replaced at once.

You'll want the tires that sit on opposite sides from each to have matching treads, so if you need to replace one front tire, you should consider replacing both. This will help keep the vehicle in alignment and make the car stay in better control on the road.

AWD Tire Replacement

If you are driving an all-wheel drive vehicle, you definitely should replace all four tires at the same time. The drivetrain can become severely damaged if you drive the vehicle with treads at different levels.

The vehicle's computer system will assume that the treads on each tire match, therefore sending signals to each individual tire to perform accordingly. As this information would be incorrect, each tire gets faulty information.

No matter if you have two-wheel or all-wheel drive, you should always get your tires rotated at the factory-recommended intervals. This will ensure that the tires are getting a nearly even amount of wear, and will make for better performance. 

Car mechanic is changing tire

How Much Should 4 new tires cost?

The cost of a new set of tires will depend greatly on several factors. What brand you are using is significant, as well as the model of tire you are using. The longer a tire should last, the more expensive it will cost you.

The type of tire is also a consideration. Do you want a set of all-weather tires? Or are snow tires what you need?

Lastly, look for deals from tire stores. Some will offer a fourth tire free, encouraging the consumer to buy a full set. Taking potential sales into the average range for the price of a set of tires, expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $600 a set for lower end models. A mid-range model tire will range from $400 to $1,200 a set. On the higher end, expect to shell out $800 to $1,600.

Do you need an alignment after replacing tires?

According to Motor Biscuit, it's a good idea to get your vehicle aligned if you have replaced your tires. This is especially important if you have been driving a vehicle whose tires have had substantial differences in their wear from one tire to the next. 

One man, mechanic in auto repair shop, wheel alignment equipment on a car wheel in a repair station.

What can cause a car to go out of alignment?

Vehicles can go out of alignment by hitting road hazards, like potholes or debris. While you might not notice your car being out of alignment immediately, it's a smart idea to have it checked out as soon as possible, should you drive over some kind of obstruction.

Vehicles will naturally go out of alignment over time. Everyday driving means your car absorbs a lot of little bumps and pitfalls that you don't normally notice. As time passes, these things will cause your vehicle's alignment to change.

It's recommended to get your vehicle aligned yearly or sooner if you notice the tell-tale signs of it being out of alignment. We'll discuss those ahead in this post.

Dangerous deterioration of pavement on road.

How do you know if my car needs an alignment?

There are several tell-tale signs that your vehicle has gone out of proper alignment. If you notice that your vehicle is pulling hard to one side of the road or the other, it probably means that you aren't in alignment. 

Try taking your hands off your steering wheel the next time you are on a lone stretch of highway. If the road is flat and the vehicle begins to drift or pull, then you have an alignment issue that should be examined. 

Another way to tell is to look at your tires. If your vehicle is out of alignment, then you will notice that your tires will be worn out unevenly from the inside out. This can be particularly dangerous, as tires with severely uneven tread are much more prone to a blowout.

In closing

Whether or not you change your tires yourself or have it done professionally, the process is fairly simple. A practiced and skilled person with the proper tools and equipment should be able to get all four tires done in a matter of 10 minutes or less, while someone with a jack and typical tools will usually take 20 to 40 minutes to change out a complete set.

No matter how you change your tires, follow all safety precautions that are outlined in your vehicle owner's manual, and never attempt anything if you aren't confident in your ability. Drive safely!

If you found this automotive post to be helpful, we believe you'll find the following posts on vehicle tires to be informative:

Do All 4 Tires Need To Be The Same Brand? Or Can You Mix And Match?.

Should You Rotate Tires On AWD And 4WD Vehicles?

How Wide Are Tires On Average? [By Type Of Vehicle]