Planning on Changing a Tire? Here’s How Much a Car Tire REALLY Weighs

Tires are one of the most important parts of your vehicle. They’re not cheap and they’re not light. Perhaps you’re wondering if you can change a tire by yourself. The answer may depend on the type of vehicle you’re driving.

If you’ve never changed a tire, you’ve come to the right place. This article will not only give you an idea of how much tire you can lift, it’ll walk you through different aspects of changing a tire you perhaps hadn’t considered.

Read Also: How Long Is the Average Car?

What Determines Wheel and Tire Weight?

The weight of a wheel and tire package varies immensely by the type of wheel and the size of the vehicle they are being mounted on. There’s a saying in the motorsport world: “cheap, light, strong; pick two.”

OEM wheels are typically some of the cheapest and strongest wheels you’ll find on the road, but they are very heavy. High quality lightweight alloy wheels are either going to be very flimsy or very expensive, with little in between.

There are some brands that strike a nice balance between cost and durability such as Sparco and Enkei, but these are not the absolute lightest wheels you’ll find on the road. For most people, this is a perfectly fine compromise.

Tire weight is determined by tire size, tread depth, and internal construction. The wheels you have on your vehicle will determine which tires are available

How Much Does a Tire Weigh? (By Itself)

new tires on rack

Tires that are not mounted to wheels are typically fairly light, at least on smaller vehicles. Tires are mostly made of rubber with metal inside that reinforces their structure.

  • A tire on a subcompact car weighs about 15 lbs. An example tire size for a subcompact car is 185/60R14.
  • A tire on a compact car or midsize sedan weighs about 22 lbs. An example tire size for a compact or midsize car is 215/45R18.
  • A tire on a minivan weighs about 26 lbs. An example tire size for a minivan is 225/60/17.
  • A tire on a SUV or pickup truck weighs about 40 lbs… just for the tire alone. An example tire size for a truck is 275/60R20.

If you have questions about a specific tire in your vehicle’s tire size, Tire Rack has a specs tab for each tire that will tell you all the details about that tire, including its weight. These numbers were pulled from various tires on Tire Rack’s website using the example sizes listed above.

How Much Does a Tire Weigh? (With a Wheel)

tire and wheel weight

A single wheel can weigh anywhere from 8 lbs. to over 30 lbs. by itself. If you take this and add it to the tire figures posted above, it’s not uncommon to find a wheel and tire package that weighs 70 lbs. on heavier vehicles.

If you drive a car or small crossover, expect the tire to weigh closer to 40 or 50 pounds when mounted to a wheel.

See Also: Curb Weight vs Gross Weight (What’s the Difference?)

How High Do I Have to Lift a Tire to Change It?

Once you’re ready to change a tire, you actually don’t have to lift it very far to mount it to the hub of your vehicle. When you jack up the vehicle, you only need to lift the vehicle enough to slide the old tire off. This could be as little as an inch off the ground.

When you’re mounting the new tire, make sure you stay clear of the vehicle in case the jack fails. Don’t put your hands or feet underneath the tire as you’re trying to mount it.

The most physically demanding parts of changing a tire are getting the spare tire out of the car, storing the punctured tire, and actually loosening the lug nuts.

woman changing car tire

How Hard is it to Loosen Lug Nuts?

Lug nuts are often torqued somewhere between 80 and 100 foot pounds. If you have a foot long tire iron, it would take you 100 lbs. of force on the end of the iron to loosen a single lug nut.

To make loosening lug nuts easier, put the tire iron on a lug nut so that it is parallel to the ground. While maintaining your balance, you could try standing on the end of the tire iron. If that isn’t enough, try kicking the tire iron down toward the pavement.

When you do this, make sure you stay out of the way in case the tire iron pops off the lug nut, or in case the lug nut breaks free suddenly. Make sure you are turning the lug nut counterclockwise to loosen it.

If your vehicle came with a short tire iron, consider grabbing a battery power impact wrench or a longer breaker bar to store with the vehicle. A spare tire is useless if you can’t get the lug nuts off.

Lug bolts are similar to lug nuts, but they thread into the hub instead of a stud. It’s usually harder to change a tire on a vehicle that uses lug bolts, because the wheel, brake rotor, and hub all have to line up before the lug bolt will thread in properly. Lug bolts are frequently found on many European vehicles.


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