28.09.2022 | Category : Products

Wheel-changing with STAHLWILLE

From 7 to 7. Better safe than sorry!

Once again, autumn is just around the corner. For many people, this means changing the car wheels. Do you always have to take the car to the garage? You can also do it yourself. But then you should definitely have the right equipment on hand.


The right equipment

  1. A four-way wheel brace or a wheel nut spanner
  2. A jack
  3. A torque wrench with a range of up to approx. 260 N·m, depending on the vehicle type


The best timing

A good guide is the seven-to-seven rule – when 24-hour temperatures drop to around 7 °C in the winter and rise above 7 °C in spring. This is the recommendation of most tyre manufacturers. Those who change the wheels themselves have the advantage of being able to react flexibly to weather conditions, and there is no need to wait for an appointment in the workshop.


The right procedure

  • A simple jack is often no longer included as basic equipment with modern cars, unfortunately. So it is best to check in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises. If you change your wheels yourself on a regular basis, it is better to buy a stable, hydraulic jack, which makes the job a lot easier.
  • To ensure the wheels are fitted in the right position for the next change, they ought to be marked. This is best done with simple chalk, wax crayons or with a labelled sticker (e.g. "FL" for front left seen from the driver's seat etc.).
  • Since the tyres on the drive axle usually wear faster, the wheels that were mounted on the front axle are mounted on the rear axle the next time they are changed. It is important that the position on the axle (i.e. left or right) stays the same so that the prescribed direction of rotation is adhered to. So the front left wheel becomes the rear left wheel and so on. However, with permanent four-wheel drive vehicles, this change usually makes no sense.
  • Before starting work, secure the vehicle to stop it unintentionally rolling away. To do this, apply the handbrake and engage first gear or set the automatic gear selector lever to the "P" position.
  • Now loosen the wheel nuts. Battery-powered impact screwdrivers are a great help for loosening wheel nuts but should not be used for the final tightening job. However, pretightening up to approx. 80% of the specified final torque is possible.
  • Since the forces acting on car wheels are enormous, the wheel nuts must be tightened with a defined force. They must not be tightened too loosely or too tightly – which is why it definitely makes sense to use a torque wrench. Make sure you use a torque wrench for which the manufacturer guarantees the display deviation and which is supplied with a calibration certificate according to DIN EN ISO 6789:2017 (or for which such a certificate is available).
  • Then set the torque wrench according to the vehicle manufacturer's specifications (usually to be found in the manual) and tighten the wheel nuts. It is important first to tighten the bolts or nuts loosely by hand, if necessary pretighten them (see above) and only then use the torque wrench for the final torques. The bolts should be tightened cross-wise or alternately. This ensures the wheel is mounted evenly on the hub.
  • Note: the torque wrench should only "click" once per bolt – do not tighten them several times in succession or apply a few more degrees after the first click, otherwise you may exceed the prescribed torque.
  • Finally, store the wheels you have removed horizontally one on top of the other on a special wheel rack. If you store your wheels yourself, you should choose a dry room out of direct light. Before storing them, clean the wheels and the tyres, check them for damage and for sufficient tread depth.


Our recommended products


To coincide with the wheel change season, we are offering our STAHLWILLE wheel-fitting set 721QR/20/2/1 (40 - 200 N·m including two sockets and a QuickRelease extension). If 200 N·m is not enough for you (often the case with SUVs), we also have the 721Quick/30 (60 - 300 N·m) in our range of tools.

That will set you up properly because the set contains two sockets for sizes 17 mm and 19 mm that are commonly used for wheel bolts in addition to the torque wrench. Particularly convenient: mechanical torque wrenches from STAHLWILLE have a wear-resistant trigger system with a flexible rod. This eliminates the need for resetting to "0", which is a crucial step with conventional torque wrenches with compression springs in order to obtain correct measuring results in the long term.

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