The time to change from summer to winter / snow tires is rapidly approaching. Temperatures on my morning drive were in the 30s coming to work. No snow here yet, but winter is in the air.
Changing tires that are mounted on wheels is simple to do at home with just a jack and a lug wrench. But spinning all those lug nuts on and off the car can become a bit tedious.
Last year, for the first time, I installed my Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package with a cordless impact wrench. This one tool makes a huge difference in the time and effort needed to make the change. To truly appreciate the ease and convenience, do a couple of changes with hand tools only, and then buy the impact wrench.
Use of the impact wrench is pretty straightforward, but there are a couple of cautions to observe:
1. Make sure the socket fits the lug securely before you start the impact wrench. Its high power and speed can start rounding off lugs if you are sloppy.
2. Do not use the impact wrench to torque down your lugs. This can easily lead to harmful over-torquing. As soon as the lug starts to engage with the wheel, stop. Then go back and apply the final torque by hand.
Aside from seasonal changeovers, the impact wrench is a great time saver for anyone who goes to the track and has a separate set of wheels and competition tires for track use. The tool is appreciated more when you're heading to the track and need to change a track wheel and track tire quickly and easily. When you're looking for car tires online at Tire Rack this winter, be sure to add the cordless impact wrench for the track-rat in your life.