Preparing your shop to service larger-sized rims

Preparing your shop to service larger-sized rims

While large rims may enhance the appearance and performance of customers' vehicles, it poses challenges for your shop.

Low-profile tires and larger-diameter wheels are becoming increasingly common in new passenger cars, SUVs and CUVs. Automotive manufacturers are capitalizing on the appeal of these setups for improved handling and aesthetics but, while this may enhance the appearance and performance of customers’ vehicles, it poses challenges for your shop when it comes time to service them, especially across different OEMs. Let’s talk more about that.

Mounting tires is more challenging these days due to thinner sidewalls and stiff tires with rim guards. These features create difficulties during mounting, and larger wheels and lower-profile tires mean tighter-fitting beads, further complicating service.

Like most services in your shop, ensuring proper servicing of large-rimmed tire and wheel assemblies begins with having the right equipment. If you don’t already have one, a tire changer is a long-term investment, and you should get one that’s user-friendly yet robust enough to withstand the demands of your customers.

You may already have tire changers, but not one that can handle these larger rims. Features for a tire changer capable of handling 18-inch and larger tire and wheel packages should include effective bead pressing, preventing the bead from slipping, powerful bead loosening capabilities and adjustable clamps with protective surfaces to prevent damage to wheels.

Additionally, with larger and heavier wheels, technicians face increased physical strain. Investing in tire changers or wheel balancers with a wheel lift can reduce technician fatigue while still minimizing the risk of damaging rims.

Some of your more experienced technicians may rush through the mounting and demounting process, potentially skipping important steps. With these larger-sized rims, attention to detail is extra important here. Practices, like properly loosening the bead, paying attention to TPMS sensor location, and correctly identifying reverse drop-center wheels are critical for these assemblies.

If you have all the proper equipment and some techs are still struggling to service larger rims, try a training refresher or matching these struggling techs with you or an experienced tech on staff to supervise. Careless mistakes or a lack of understanding can increase the risk of damaging wheels or tires. You can also invest in training programs and encourage practice and repetition to ensure that each job is performed correctly.

Like many services your shop provides, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for larger-sized rims. However, with the right equipment, repetition and hands-on experience, your shop can master the task effectively.

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