How Long Does It Take To Change A Tire?

Have you noticed the ridges of your tires leveling lately or some cracks on the sides of your tires, and you figured it’s high time you changed your tires? Or you just haven’t replaced your tires in a long while, and you think it’s high time you did that? In situations like this, “How long does it take to change a tire?” is the question that comes to your mind because it takes safety and precaution into consideration.


Many factors affect how long it takes to change a car tire. This article discusses the duration of changing your car tire by yourself or at auto-care centers and a few other important things you should know about tire maintenance and protection.

Signs You Should Change Your Tires

How long does it take to change a tire

Low Tire Tread Depth

A tire exceeds its usable life when the measurement of its tread depth is 2/32nds of an inch. You can check this measurement with your tread depth gauge. Otherwise, you may use a penny. Place it in areas around the tire with Abraham Lincoln’s head facing down. If all of Abraham’s head is visible, you need to change the tire. It has exceeded its lifespan.

Tire Bulge

A bulge is the trapping of air between the inner liner and the outer layer of the tire. It causes the formation of air pockets in the weakened spots and is a sign that you should change your tires.

Tire Cracks

Cracks in tires expose the inner materials of the tire. Exposed metals or fabric cords from inside or on the sides of the tire are a sign of a potential blowout and a steady air leak. You should replace your tire to avoid driving hazards.

Tire Vibration

Tire vibrations are normal since they undergo motion. But some types of vibrations are signs that you need to change your tires. If you notice that your tire vibrates at a very high frequency when you speed on the highway or is lumpy at low speeds, you should replace your tire.

Tire Expiration

Tires generally expire six years after the manufacture date. Many factors determine if a tire is still usable such as when it has been sitting on the shelf for only three years after production before use. Check the expiry date of your tire to know whether it has expired. If it has, you should change it.

How Long Does It Take to Change a Tire By Road Assistance?

Factors affecting how long it costs Road Assistance to change your tire include the particular program you use and the system you call from. Therefore, the total time it takes may vary greatly. But the table below illustrates the time it takes to change the tires.

Number Of Tires To Change Time Taken
One tire About 10 minutes
Four tires Less than 50 minutes

Note: The time here is the time it takes to change the tire. It does not include the time it takes to get to the scene. It is unlikely that you will change all four tires.

How Long Does It Take To Change A Tire At Shops?

At Walmart

Walmart is a popular store, so if you’re a person who works round the clock, you might want to reconsider the option. But the time it takes to change your tires at Walmart depends on many factors, including how many customers you meet on the waiting line, etc. But here’s how long it takes;

Number Of Tires To Change Time Taken
One tire About 45 minutes
Four tires About 2 hours

Further, many factors affect how soon this can work. The time refers to the amount of time for the change of tire and does not include the amount of time spent on the line and other delay times, which may lead to 4 hours waiting time or more.

At Costco

Costco is way more expensive than Walmart and operates with a set of distinct rules. Firstly, you must buy from them before they fix the tires for you. Secondly, Costco only installs tires recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. And finally, Costco’s average time for a tire change is less.

Number Of Tires To Change Time Taken
One tire About 45 minutes
Four tires Up to 2 hours

At Firestone

Firestone assures you of fixing your car on the appointed time and even offers a 10% reduction if it fails to do so. But despite this guarantee, customer feedback suggests that it takes long hours to wait to change your tires at Firestone.

Number Of The Tires To Change Time Taken
One tire About 45 minutes
Four tires Up to 5 hours

However, making an appointment beforehand or being the first customer may reduce the total time spent. You may have to spend only a total of 45 minutes.

At Pep Boys

This auto store works with many standard procedures, increasing the total waiting time to fix your tires. The procedure involves the technician:

  • driving your car to the mount in the service bay, which lifts your car
  • loosening and taking off all the wheels starting from the driver’s end
  • unscrewing the cores (TPMS or the valve stems) to expel the air in the tires
  • installing the new stems or component kits, inflating the tires, and checking the balance of the wheels
  • minimizing the torque applied to the wheel and applying the right torque to the wheel after installing the wheels back on the car
  • and finally, inspecting your car for any other faults and recommending an alignment.
Number Of Tires Time Taken
One tire About 45 minutes to 1 hour
Four tires More than 1 hour

How Long Does It Take to Change a Tire by Yourself?

Generally, changing a tire by yourself takes only about 10- 30 minutes. So on average, you may spend no more than an hour changing all your tires.

The time spent changing your tires by yourself greatly depends on your skills, how fast you are, whether you are working with the right tools, and when you are scheduled to change the tires. It pays to fix the time of the change in your leisure. This will help you finish in the least possible time.

How To Change Your Tires On Your Own: A Step-By-Step Guide


  • Do not change tires on a sloppy landscape. Changing tires on a slope may lead to an accident or damage the car if it runs off the slope or falls off the hydraulic since the ground level is not even.
  • Never put your hands under the tire at any point during the exercise. Sometimes, the hydraulic fails, or for any other reason, the car may fall or come off the lift and smash your hands when you have the right under the wheel. This is important when you are either removing the wheel or placing a new one. Always hold it from the sides. Never put your hands under the wheel while removing or placing it.

Tools You Need

Your tool kit for changing your tire yourself should include the following:

  • A spare tire for the change
  • A lug wrench to unfasten the lug nuts
  • Some wheel wedges for holding the car still while you are changing the tire
  • A piece of wood with a fine flat surface for securing the jack
  • A car jack to lift the flat tire off the ground for removal
  • Some work gloves to protect your hands
  • Reflective triangles for safety in case you are changing it by the roadside

Step By Step Guide

  1. If you are changing by the roadside, turn on your hazard lights and place the reflective triangles at a distance to advise oncoming vehicles
  2. Secure the car still with the wedges after putting it in the first gear and engaging the handbrakes. You do this by closely placing the wedges before and after the three other wheels to prevent motion during the exercise
  3. Unfasten the lug nuts on the wheels of the flat tire
  4. Raise the wheel with a jack, remove the lug nuts and the wheel
  5. Place the new wheel on, fit the lug nuts in a cross pattern, and tighten with your hand
  6. Lower the jack until the tire reaches the ground and fasten the lug nuts with your lug wrench.

You may then repeat the process for the other tires. Do not forget to align your wheels at an auto center.

How To Maintain And Protect Your Tires

How long does it take to change a tire

  • Always change worn-out tires. Change all four tires at once when you need to replace the tires. You can also change either the front or rear pair, depending on which set is worn out. This ensures that you have even wear across all four tires or a pair.
  • Apply protectants. Protectants ensure the tires do not crack or suffer from dry rot.
  • Regularly check the air pressure at least once a month to ensure that you do not exceed the maximum inflation level.
  • Always check for cracks and tire tread wear at least once a month.
  • Regularly check the wheel alignment, especially when you suspect a problem.
  • Rotate the tires frequently to ensure even wear of the tire treads.


When you change your car tires after noticing a fault, it goes a long way to safeguarding your life and that of other road users beyond your car’s maintenance. Whether you choose to use an auto care center or do it yourself, the investment is worth it. Another thing you should ensure, the correct tightening sequence and torque on your lug nuts. Watch this Video or read this How To Page to learn more.

By Mark Johnson