Winter has come and gone, and come and gone, and come and gone again here in Canada. We’ve been lured multiple times into thinking Old Man Winter finally gave up on our misery and headed back north where he belongs – only to be hit with a wintry mix, freezing rain, and flat-out snow a day or two later. Of course, during this time I’m here just itching to get my snow tires off my XC90 so I can touch them in for the Summer. This weekend was that weekend. Finally. Like really, I’m so done with Winter and so is my XC90
This weekend was the time. There would be no better day than Sunday. I rounded up all the necessary tools and safety equipment, And grabbed the summer tires.
My process for swapping wheels on my 2004 XC90 is pretty simple.
Loosen wheel bolts slightly on one wheel
- Jack up wheel
- Remove bolts
- Remove wheel
- Wire brush the hub as necessary and apply anti-seize
- Inspect brakes, suspension parts and anything else I can see with the wheel off
- Place new wheel on hub
- Lightly tighten wheel bolts (Let’s call it “snug”)
- Lower car just to where the tire touches the ground and won’t turn as you torque the bolts
- Lower car the rest of the way
Repeat for each wheel on the XC90.
One thing I noticed was that the winter tires and rims came off far easier than the summer ones. The summer ones has been on there for some time, and I particularly recall having a bit of trouble getting them off. The wire brush and a little anti-seize solved this and made it really quick and easy this time. I really only needed to use the wire brush on one hub.
Maybe I’m crazy but I dread the days where there’s no snow on the ground and I have to drive around with snow tires on the XC90. Why you ask? Because I hate the fact that the soft rubber will wear faster than my summer tires and I’d like to get at least another two seasons out of my Gislaved snow tires.
XC90 winter-summer tire swap tips:
Consistency is key. When I took the summer tires off in late 2016, I marked the position on the inside of each rim. When I took the winter tires off, I did the same. Why? Because when I rotate the tires on the next install I want to know where they were, not where they are going to be rotated to. Imagine if I wrote the removal location on one set and the location after rotation on the other set? I’m already confused. Whichever method you choose, keep it consistent so you don’t lose track one get uneven wear.
Wash your wheels before you install and put away. I’m have a spare set of rims for my snow tires. So when I do the swap, it’s easy to give them a quick once-over with some soapy water so that, when I put the tires on the XC90 the next season, they might actually be clean. I also give them a quick wash before I put them back on the XC90, too.
Inspect, inspect, inspect. This is the perfect time to take a really good look at your rims and tires to look for anything out of the ordinary. Gouges in the tire or curb rash on your rims. Also check the condition of the center of your rim for anything out of the ordinary. I’ve noticed that I do, in fact, have a decent amount of rust under the car, but I knew that when I bought the XC90. It’s also a great time, as noted above in my procedure, it’s a great time to look at things like your suspension, brakes, steering linkage, sway bars and bushings. Take note of their condition.