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Tyre Changers – What you need to know before buying

What is a Tyre Changer?

These are machines that tyre fitters use to remove and replace tires with. The majority if not all tyre changers have the ability to break a tyre’s bead to ensure it can be removed. They are usually powered by electric, air & hydraulic fluid. They come in many forms and have differing functionalities depending on the price and quality.

What is a Tyre Bead?

A tyre bead refers to the edge of the tyre that sits on the wheel, with regards to tyre fitting this must be broken in order to change a tyre. Lubrication when mounting a tyre is crucial, if you need tyre bead paste then please see the JHM Butt website for competitive and quality products.


What do you need to do before purchasing a Tyre Changer?

  • You’ll need to consider the associated costs with purchasing a new tyre changer outside of the equipment itself. If you don’t have an existing tyre changer then you may have to make alterations to your workshop if you do not have an air supply. Most garages will have an air supply to support a tyre changer however it is a cost that is often forgotten about. For instance, you may need to purchase a small piston compressor to support the tyre changer or install more pipework to support this.
  • In addition to this, your electrical supply may need to be altered to support a new tyre changer. A lot of tyre changing equipment will run of single-phase power and a normal 13 amp plug socket should suffice however there are also quite a few tyre changers that run off 3 phase power so ensuring you have considered the electrical cost is important.
  • Consider what your goal is with offering a tyre service. Are you looking to grow your tyre service offering or is it just a side service that you want to offer? In other words, what volume of tyres are you expecting to go through? If it is a low volume of tyres then a lower priced budget tyre changer with an assistor arm is likely to suffice for your operation however, if you’re looking to break in to the fast fit industry then ensuring you have a heavy-duty tyre changer is crucial.

Why do you need to purchase an assistor arm with my Tyre Changer?

  • An assistor arm significantly reduces the effort required to change run flat tyres. If you don’t believe your workshop will see a lot of run flat tyres then an assistor arm may not be required. However, it takes a lot of effort to change a run flat tyre and usually requires 2 or 3 fitters so SUPALIGN always encourage customers to purchase a tyre changer with an assistor arm.
  • The side roller on the assistor arm holds the sidewall of the tyre whilst the turntable spins, this is also the case for the clamp. The disc shaped allows you to lift up the lower part of the bead especially useful for wider wheels

What is the difference between Semi-Automatic and Automatic Tyre Changers?

Semi-automatic tyre changers and automatic tyre changer differ in the operation of the operating head. On the latter, the mounting head can fixes in place electronically or by air whereas the semi-automatic mounting head is pushed down manually and locked in to place. The mounting head on an automatic Tyre Changer remembers its position after it has demounted a tyre, this means when it comes to mounting a tyre you do not have to manually lock it in place. In other words, it swings down to the exact place it is required. Intuitively, you can see the advantage here is in the time saved for the tyre fitter having to manually put the mounting head in the right place. On average an automatic mounting head can save a fitter up to 20 seconds!

The 25 Step approach to changing a tyre

The guide below assumes you are using a semi-automatic tyre changer, lever and you have tyre paste available…


  1. Remove any wheel weights from the wheel.
  2. Remove valve stem from wheel.
  3. Before you break the bead check if your tyre has TPMS.

Breaking the bead of the tyre

  1. If the tyre has TPMS then you will need to position the valve stem (locations) so they do not get damaged by the bead breaker
  2. Align the bead breaker at the edge of the rim however it should not touch the rim of the wheel as it could damage the wheel.
  3. Break the bead by using the bead breaker on the tyre machine whilst ensuring the rest of the wheel doesn’t move.
  4. Turn the wheel 180 degrees and then break the bead on the other side.
  5. Flip the tyre over to the opposite side and repeat these steps ensuring the valve stem are kept clear.

Removing the tyre

  1. You will need to decide if you’re going to use internal clamping or external clamping here.
  2. Place the wheel on the tyre machine and lock it in place using the pedal on the tyre machine.
  3. Move the mounting head in to place and push it down until it reaches the edge of the rim.
  4. Take your lever and insert it just above the mounting head or just above the ‘ducks beak’ and lift the tyre over the head ensuring the lever stays in the same position.
  5. Once the tyre is over the top of the mounting head, use the pedal on the tyre machine to rotate the mounting table.
  6. After a 180 degree turn the majority of the tyre on one side should be loose.
  7. Again, using the top of the duck beak on the mount head, place the lever on through the tyre whilst using your other hand to lift the bottom of the tyre up.
  8. The lever should come out underneath the tyre, once this is through you’ll need to lift the bead above the duck head.
  9. Keeping this above the duck head, rotate the mounting table again until the tyre becomes fully loose from the wheel.
  10. Release the mounting head and move it out of the way.

Fitting the tyre

  1. Using your tyre mounting paste and a brush, apply the paste along the inside and outside of the bead of the new tyre.
  2. Place the new tyre on the wheel at an angle
  3. Place the mounting head at the edge of the rim however push it away slightly approx. 5mm – 10mm
  4. The tyre needs to be positioned so that bead goes over the duck’s tail of the mounting head but under the duck’s head.
  5. Rotate the mounting table until the first part of the tyre is mounted
  6. Repeat these steps for the lower part of the bead
  7. Move the mounting head out of the way and inflate the bead until it is sealed against the tyre

SUPALIGN have a wide range of budget and heavy-duty tyre changers suitable for all workshops. Our wheel care specialist can provide you with information on wheel balancers, wheel alignment machines and lifting equipment. If you have any questions, please get in touch with the team today.



Offering an extensive range of laser, CCD & 3D aligners Supalign is a one stop shop for wheel alignment requirements.