Changing the wheels on your smart
There's no excuse for not knowing how to change the wheel on your smart.
It's amazing how many people (OK, mostly women) you see sitting at the side of the motorway or 'A' road waiting for the breakdown service to come and change a wheel over, even on cars that have everything you could possibly need hidden in the boot.
Obviously on the smart it's not quite as simple as that but it's something that you should know how to do, it's something you should also know how to do correctly and safely.
Here we have Kat's smart Fortwo, still running on the original passion stylelines.
Kat had set her heart on the pulse corelines
and managed to pick up a set for a very good price.
The stylelines are 175 at the rear and 145 at the front,
The corelines are 195 at the back and 175 at the front.
The main benefit here is that the styleline rear tyres can be
reused on the coreline front alloys.
Secondary benefits obviously include better handling and ride.
The first thing you should do is to loosen the 3 bolts by a quarter turn
on the front and rear of one side of the car. You only want to loosen one
side as the other side will be supporting more weight as the car is lifted.
Standard smart wheel bolts have a 15mm hexagon head.
It is not uncommon for the wheels (especially the fronts) to bind against the
hubs because of the heat from the disc brakes.
Use the base of your hand and hit the tyre all the way around until it comes free, more
stubborn cars may need a good spray of WD40 to aid the loosening process.
With the old wheel off put the new wheel in its place, attempt to line up the 3 bolt holes.
Two things to note.
Ensure you have the rear alloys on the rear and the fronts on the front. Smarts have
different front and rear offsets, generally the wider tyred wheel goes on the back.
Second thing to note is that some tyres are directional, look on the tyre wall for any info.
You can see the enormous difference in tyre width between 145s and 175s.
Wider tyres on the front of the car will remedy a fair bit of the understeer.
Tighten the bolts as tight as possible by hand and lower the car onto the road.
Using a torque wrench set to 110Nm tighten the wheel bolts up.
Do the same on the other side and the job is done.
Once you have finished go around and check every bolt again with the torque wrench.
Also check the tyre pressures are correct all the way around.
Take a quick local ride around and listen for any rubbing or vibrations.
If you get rubbing using standard smart alloys
you may have put the rears on the front and vice versa.
To undo a bolt you have to spin it anticlockwise, clockwise to tighten it up again.
If you get any vibrations, you may need them balanced, also check the tyres for damage.
2 days after fitting, recheck all the bolts with a torque wrench and check the tyre pressures again.