How Long Does It Take to Change a Flat Tire

American singer Roy Orbison once said, “I may be a living legend, but that sure don’t help when I’ve got to change a flat tire.” He sure had a point when he said this because the process of changing tires could be a daunting task to some people. Of course, we will not talk about Roy. We will talk about how long it takes to change a tire.

The time it takes to change a tire varies. It depends on how many tires you are changing, who is doing the procedure, and where. Generally, it takes between 15 minutes to 5 hours. Changing a flat tire on your own could take 15 to 30 minutes per tire.

If you bring your vehicle to a shop like Walmart, Costco, or Discount Tires, you should be ready to spend more time waiting as you may not be the only customer. We will look at how long it takes to get your tires replaced at these tire centers.

How Long Does It Take to Change a Flat Tire

If you change a flat tire on your own, it might take between 15 to 30 minutes. I have to be honest, the first time I did it, it took me a good hour. Since it was my first time doing it, my confidence level was not that high. I would say that the more you do it, the more you get better at it.

But why does it take long to change a flat tire? Well, it involves a lot of things. You first need to dismount the tire from your vehicle. This job alone could take you at least around 5 minutes (I am being generous). This estimate already includes the process of jacking up the car.

Then, you need to remove the tire from the rim. The common challenge here is breaking the tire bead. This part of the job is where the process usually takes longer. If you don’t have enough experience in doing it or do not have proper tools, you will spend a longer time at this stage.

Of course, you need to install the new tire into the rim. This step could also take some time, especially if it is your first time doing it. Then, you would need some time to mount the wheel back to the car.

Changing a flat tire at a tire shop can be faster as these shops usually have high-technology machines and expert mechanics. The process might only take 10 to 15 minutes. What takes time here is the queue.

How Long Does 4 Tire Change Take

Changing all four tires on your own can be a tiresome job as it would take longer times. This is why most car owners prefer to have their vehicle serviced by a mechanic at a tire shop.

However, if you prefer to do the job yourself, we can do the math. If you don’t have solid experience, it will take you between 15 to 30 minutes to replace one tire. Therefore, for all four tires, it would possibly take you between 1 to 4 hours.

How about if a mechanic carries out the job of replacing all four tires at a shop? How long will it take? If we do not consider the waiting time before the mechanic will service your car, it roughly takes about 1 hour to replace all four tires.

As I pointed out earlier, you should be ready to wait if you go to tire centers or tire shops and let them do the job. It is because they usually have cars lining up and awaiting service. 

Some of these shops even require advanced service booking. If the tire center is influential, you will find them busy all the time.

I would also like to mention that the type of your car also affects the length of time it takes to replace the tires.

I will also mention my thoughts about the benefits of having a professional replace your tires versus doing it yourself because it is very relevant.

If you replace your tires on your own, there are two main advantages: you save time and money and gain experience. You won’t have to wait for hours due to the service queue, and you can save around $100 to $150, even more.

Car maintenance is expensive, so saving a few dollars can be a great deal for you. If you want to learn more about how you can save on car maintenance, I recommend this article for you to read.

If you let a professional do it, the main advantage is safety. Experienced mechanics at tire centers will inspect everything to ensure your safety, such as tire pressure, wheel alignment, etc. 

Safety is a priority to other people because of the increasing number of fatalities due to tire malfunction, as recorded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

Tire centers usually offer a package when you replace your tires. Aside from mounting the tires, the package may also include new valve stems, rotation and balancing warranty, flat repairs, inflation checks, and tire pressure monitoring (TPMS) set.

These shops also usually offer add-on services like wheel alignment and road hazard warranty. Of course, at an additional cost. The things mentioned above that the mechanic at a tire shop will do can extend tire replacement service time.

How Long Does It Take to Change 4 Tires at Walmart

Walmart is one, if not the most influential tire center with an average of 240 million customer visits weekly. Yes, you read it right. For the year 2021, Walmart has registered approximately 240 million service visits. That is quite a huge number.

Because of this popularity, availing of car maintenance service at Walmart is going to take time. Online references indicate that replacing your tires at Walmart could take up to 4 to 5 hours

Thus, if you have a busy schedule and don’t have a spare car to use, you might need to consider Walmart’s service time carefully.

If you do have another vehicle that you can use, maybe you can seriously consider Walmart. For me, the massive number of customer visits says something: quality and reliable service.

If you want to know further details about Walmart’s services, you can check this article out. The blog also includes some information on how you can avail of good deals at the shop.

How Long Does It Take to Change Tires at Costco

Replacing all four tires at Costco could take between 3 to 4 hours. It takes a little shorter time at Costco because it does not have many customer visits like Walmart. 

One of the possible reasons is that Costco charges higher service compared to Walmart. This tire center service price and comparison might give you more insights.

Services at Costco also have some limitations. For example, Costco staff may not install your tires if you do not buy the tires from them. If you have not purchased tires yet, this tire center can be your option. 

Some car owners report that replacing four tires at Costco could take at least 45 minutes. It probably is true if you have secured an appointment ahead of time. 

However, if you walk in, you might have to do it on a Saturday and be ready to hang around for 3 to 4 hours. Again, it depends on how busy the shop is when you go there. 

How Long Does It Take to Change Tires at Discount Tire

According to the data I’ve gathered, discount Tire strives to complete the tire replacement service in 45 minutes. Note that this is for all four tires already. That is quite a fast service if the tire center delivers the promise. 

Another advantage of going to Discount Tire is that you can pop up at their place anytime. You can walk in anytime you want, and they will advise you to wait for an hour, or you can prefer to receive an SMS or email when your car is ready.

If you want to learn more about Discount Tire’s auto services, check the Consumer Affairs website covers some comprehensive reviews. Many customers are happy with the services they get from this establishment because the staff delivers it fast with friendliness.

Conclusion

It generally takes between 15 minutes to 5 hours to replace tires. The range is wide because of multiple factors that will affect the actual service time.

These factors include the number of tires to replace, the person to do it, and where. If you want to save time and money, doing it yourself is one of the best options. However, if you don’t have the guts to do it, I would suggest you find a suitable tire center to do it for you.

The things you need to consider when letting a professional or a tire center replace your tires include the price of the actual tire, the service fee or the labor cost, the tire disposal cost, and, more importantly, the service time.