How to Install a Tire on a Rim by Hand

by Gracie Sprouse
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tires on water image by JoLin from

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 .

Step 1

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

Step 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.

Step 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 vise grips onto the edge of the rim can help in installing or uninstalling the bead by keeping the tire separated from the rim.

Step 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.

Step 5

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

Step 6

Inflate the tire. You will hear loud pop noises as the tire seats itself in the rim. Do not over-inflate. 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.

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