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How to Checking, removing and refitting road wheels

Here you can get Checking, removing and refitting road wheels.

When you take the wheels off to inspect the tire walls, clean the wheels thoroughly and look closely for cracks starting round the stud holes, and at the joints between the rim and center. Cracks may indicate structural weakness thanks to corrosion, or that the wheel nuts are either too loose or are over-tightened. Such damage means the wheel should be replaced. Damage to wheel rims is far more common, because it can happen while parking against a high kerb. Look for deep scuff marks, buckling and denting on steel rims, and for chipping and splitting on aluminum or magnesium alloy wheels.

If the denting isn’t too severe, steel wheels can usually be straightened by a garage. But they’ll not make an airtight seal with a tubeless tyre. Fitting an tube may solve the matter. However, a damaged rim can also make the wheel difficult to balance. Very minor chips or scrapes on alloy wheels are often ignored, but cracks are serious – fit a new wheel. Magnesium alloy wheels corrode badly if their protective lacquering is disturbed – or eroded by time and flying grit. Frequent inspections should be made for that kind of damage, and therefore the wheels re-lacquered if necessary before corrosion can set in. There are proprietary lacquers specially for car wheels, and directions for applying them are given on the container. Steel wheels can rust, but they’re made from metal thick enough to face up to about the foremost vicious attacks, well beyond the useful life of the car. However, rusty wheels aren’t a beautiful sight, and may be prepared and painted like all other part of the car (See ).

Checking valves

A persistent, slow loss of pressure from a tire are often due to a faulty valve. Whenever a tire is began, new valves should be fitted. Leaving the old ones in may be a false economy, because the rubber seating around the base of the ‘snap-in’ sort of valve stem used with tubeless tires eventually deteriorates. The inner core of the valve also deteriorates with age – especially if the valve cap is missing, allowing `dust and grit to enter. Look carefully at each valve for cracking or hardening of the rubber covering round the stem.

Unscrew the cap and make sure no dirt is trapped underneath, then replace it tightly. Remember that it forms a second pressure seal, also as a protective shield. If you think a valve leak, wet your finger and wipe it over the valve to hide it with an unbroken bubble. An air leak will burst it. Inner tubes, when fitted, have integral valve stems which can’t be replaced. Always have a new tube fitted when a worn or damaged tire is replaced.

Switching wheels round

Because front tires usually wear faster than rear tires, wheels are sometimes rotated – switched from one position to a different – in order to equalize the tread wear. The practice isn’t recommended. Wear on the front wheels is often greatest on the outside shoulders, therefore the best way to equalize wear would be to possess the tire faraway from the rim, reversed on the wheel and re balanced. the value of getting this done could offset any saving in tire wear.

Some manufacturers believe that changing the wheels round makes a car’s steering and road holding unpredictable until the tires have established a new pattern of wear. Rotating wheels means all four tires, plus the spare, are likely to wear out at the same time. Changing a pair of tires on one axle at a time, bringing within the spare at each stage, spreads the value of replacement.

Removing a road wheel

Before removing a road wheel, begin the hub cap and any decorative wheel trim. Some hub caps or trims are screwed on, but most are a push-fit and may be praised off with a large screwdriver. The wheel nuts or bolts – there could also be three, four or five – are loosened slightly before jacking up the car. Loosen them within the correct sequence of ‘opposite pairs’. Use a wheel brace or a suitable socket spanner. If a nut is tough to shift, set the wheel brace at an appropriate angle, then stamp down sharply on the handle.

Alternatively, increase the leverage on the handle by slipping a length of pipe over it. With a crank-handled wheel brace, two tire levers are often wont to apply more force . Some penetrating oil applied between nut and wheel can also help. When all the wheel nuts are loosened, apply the car handbrake and place a chock under the wheel that’s diagonally opposite the one you’re removing. Then jack the car at the jacking point nearest to the wheel being removed. Hydraulic trolley jacks are quick and easy to use – but expensive to shop for or maybe hire. the quality tool-kit jack is usually adequate. it’s usually of the scissors or pillar type, and therefore the car handbook will show the jacking points.

The nuts, already freed, are now easy to get rid of . Note that wheels that are balanced on the car should get replaced in just the same position. Before taking them off, mark the wheel and studs. Put the nuts during a safe place, in order that they won’t be lost. a good spot is within the hub cap, already removed.

Refitting a road wheel

To refit the wheel, replace it on the studs then screw on all the wheel nuts hand-tight. If it’s a wheel that has been balanced on the car, make certain to exchange it on the marks you made before removing it. Note that where the stud holes within the wheel are countersunk, the conical faces of the nuts fit into them.

Tighten all the wheel nuts with the wheel brace or a socket spanner until they’re seated, then lower the car to the bottom . Now tighten the nuts fully. To avoid unequal stresses, turn them a little at a time, and within the correct sequence of opposite pairs. If you’ve got a torque wrench , use it to tighten them to the exact loading recommended – consult a suitable manual or your nearest dealer if in doubt.

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