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How to Install a Tire on a Rim by Hand

Updated April 17, 2017

You can install a tire on a rim yourself and save money. For safety reasons, however, it is crucial to have the appropriate tire for the rim. Tires and rims are clearly marked for size and the tire should be the same size as the rim, such as a 14-inch tire on a 14-inch rim. If the size of your tire does not match the rim, buy a new tire or rim, or take your tire and rim to an auto garage and consult a professional .

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  1. Place the rim flat on the ground with the front side of the rim facing up.

  2. Lubricate the beads of the tire with dish detergent and lay the tire on the rim. The beads of the tire are the inside edges, around the hole.

  3. Work the back (or bottom) bead of the tire open by pushing or standing on the sides of the tire. Locking the pair of vice grips onto the edge of the rim can help in installing or uninstalling the bead by keeping the tire separated from the rim.

  4. Slide a screw driver or pry bar between the bead of the tire and the rim and pull back, sliding the bead over the rim. Do this in short spaces, working two or three inches at a time.

  5. Use the same procedure to install the other side (or bead) of the tire.

  6. Inflate the tire. You will hear loud pop noises as the tire seats itself in the rim. Do not overinflate. Once you see that both sides of the tire are firmly seated in the rim, finish inflating the tire to the manufacturer's specifications. The proper air pressure should be written on the sidewall of the tire, or you can check the vehicle's owner's manual.

  7. Warning

    Over-inflating an automobile tire can be dangerous.

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Things You'll Need

  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Vice grips
  • Screw driver or pry bar

About the Author

Gracie Sprouse has been writing professionally since 1976. Her areas of expertise are in antiques, crafts, real estate, income taxes and small businesses. Her education consists of an Associate of Applied Science with a business and accounting major from Piedmont Virginia Community College.

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