Buick Encore Owners & Service Manuals

Buick Encore: Wheel and tire

Steering and suspension are complex systems made up of a variety of interdependent components. For proper vehicle handling, ride, and tire wear, a thorough inspection is required whenever suspension work is being performed. Conditions listed assume that the problem has been isolated to the specific component by proper testing procedures.

NOTE: When replacing steering and/or suspension components that may affect an alignment angle, you are required to check and adjust alignment as needed.

Refer to the OEM specifications.

CAUTION: Do not use ride height altering or load compensating components, such as variable rate springs and coil over shocks, on vehicles with height or load sensing proportioning valve-equipped braking systems, unless these components are original equipment.

NOTE: Depending on the air suspension design, there are some aftermarket products available to eliminate the air ride suspension on certain vehicles. If the system has been eliminated with one of these products, then no service is suggested or required.

WARNING: These guidelines do not apply to split rims.


When replacing tires, it is suggested that the replacement tires match or exceed the OEM speed rating designation. If tires of different speed rating designations are mixed on the same vehicle, the tires may vary in handling characteristics. Do not mix different speed rating designations on the same axle.

Consult the vehicle owner's manual or vehicle placard for correct tire size, service description, load index, speed rating and cold inflation pressure of the original tires. Do not exceed the maximum load or inflation capacity of the tire specified by the Tire and Rim Association (www.us-tra.org) When replacing fewer than ALL tires on a vehicle, follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations as to the placement of the new tires. If it is not possible to follow the vehicle manufacturer's tire replacement recommendations, remember to replace tires on the same axle with the same size, construction, speed rating, and, if possible, similar tread pattern.

Do not mix radials with non-radial tires on the same axle, as this may affect vehicle handling and stability. If radial tires and non-radial tires are mixed on the same vehicle, the radials must be on the rear. If radial and nonradial tires are used on a vehicle equipped with dual rear tires, radial tires may be used on either axle. Highpressure temporary compact spare tires are exempt from this rule.

Do not mix size or type (all season, performance, mud and snow) of tires on the same axle. When replacing only two tires on front or rear drive vehicles, follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations concerning placement. If it is not possible to follow OE recommendations, it is preferable to place the two new tires on the rear for greater stability, greater adhesion affecting steering -- on other than dry pavement -- and overall safety, regardless of whether the vehicle is front or rear wheel drive.

It is particularly important to match all tire sizes and constructions on 4-wheel (4x4) and all-wheel (AWD) drive vehicles unless otherwise specified by vehicle manufacturer. Ideally, all four tires should be replaced at the same time. Some vehicle manufacturers restrict replacement of tires to specific brands, types, or sizes.


Only specially trained persons should de-mount or mount tires. Explosions of tire and wheel assembly can result from improper mounting, possibly causing serious injury or death. High pressure temporary compact spare tires should not be used with any other rims or wheels, nor should standard tires, snow tires, wheel covers, or trim rings be used with high pressure compact spare rims or wheels.

Mount tires only on same or approved rim widths.

Attempting to mount a tire of one diameter on a wheel of a different diameter , bead taper or flange type may result in serious injury or death.

If any flammable emergency tire inflation product has been used in a tire, consult inflation product manufacturer's product information label for tire deflation procedures to avoid possible serious injury or death


Since 1968, cars and light trucks sold in the United States have been required to have a tire information sticker, called a vehicle tire placard. The vehicle tire placard indicates the size of the original equipment tires (including the spare), cold inflation pressure for the tires on both axles as well as the spare, and load index or range.

Depending on the vehicle, the vehicle tire placard will either be located on the edge of any door, the doorpost, glove box, fuel door or inside trunk lid. If the tire placard is missing, consult the owner's manual, vehicle manufacturer, or tire manufacturer regarding applicable tire information.

Always refer to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations before replacing tires. Tires should always be replaced with the same size designation, or approved options, as recommended. Never choose a smaller size with less load carrying capacity than the size on the tire placard. (Some vehicle manufacturers require differentsized tires for either the front or rear axles.)

NOTE: It is not always possible to select a replacement tire with exactly the same size as shown on the placard. Consult with a vehicle or tire manufacturer for replacement recommendations.

Fig. 1: Vehicle Tire Placard - Typical
Fig. 1: Vehicle Tire Placard - Typical


The front tires on most vehicles tend to wear out faster than the rear tires. This is due to the effects of steering the vehicle and the weight transfer that occurs during braking. To ensure that all four tires wear evenly, it is important to rotate them on a regular basis. Tire rotation helps maintain balanced handling because it allows all four tires to wear at the same rate. Keep in mind, as tire wear reduces tread depth, it increases the tires' response to driver inputs. Consequently, by equalizing tire wear at all four corners, dry road performance is actually enhanced. Another advantage of regular rotation is that it allows the tires to be replaced in complete sets rather than in pairs. This maintains handling continuity. It also enables drivers to take advantage of the latest in tire technology, instead of trying to match a pair of older tires.

Most manufacturers list rotation intervals in the scheduled maintenance section of the vehicle service manual and/or the owner's manual. Tire rotation patterns can also be found in these books. If this information is unavailable for a particular vehicle, rotate the tires every 5-7,000 miles following the appropriate rotation sequence shown in the illustrations. After completing a tire rotation, be sure to reset inflation pressures to the manufacturer's recommended specifications indicated on the vehicle tire placard.

To ensure that the proper amount of clamping force is applied to each fastener, follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure the area around the lug holes, as well as the wheel and hub mating surfaces are clean and dry.

    A wire brush can be used to remove corrosion and other debris. Wipe the areas clean using a shop rag.

  • Inspect the bolt holes for damage. Do not use a wheel if the bolt holes are deformed.
  • Inspect the wheel studs and lug nuts or lug bolts and bolt holes (depending on the vehicle) for damage.

    Replace or repair any damaged or worn components.

  • Always follow a star pattern when tightening lugs.


Although proper wheel lug nut torque is important, it does not guarantee that the required clamping force will be achieved. For example, excessive corrosion on the wheel and hub mating surfaces will result in improper clamping force, even when the lugs are tightened with a calibrated torque wrench. Low clamping force can also occur if the threads are dirty. This is because dirt causes interference between the mating threads. As a result, the torque wrench will register the correct reading but the clamping force will be inadequate. To improve the chances of achieving the precise clamping force between the wheel and hub, proper torque must be applied to clean components in good condition. Specifications for wheel lug nut torque can be found in the `Tire and Wheel' section of most vehicle service manuals. When specifications are indicated as a range, adjust the torque wrench to the middle of the range to compensate for normal variations in tool calibration.


Fig. 2: Popular Tire Rotation Patterns - Without Dual Rear Wheels
Fig. 2: Popular Tire Rotation Patterns - Without Dual Rear Wheels

Never rotate directional tires from side-to-side since this will reverse their direction of rotation. Directional tires can only be rotated from front to rear or vice versa. Directional tires are typically used on high-performance cars and can be identified by the arrows imprinted on the sidewall.

Fig. 3: Popular Tire Rotation Patterns - With Dual Rear Wheels
Fig. 3: Popular Tire Rotation Patterns - With Dual Rear Wheels

Some tires cannot be rotated in the manners described. Such tires include uni-directional tires and tires with asymmetric tread designs. Also, some vehicles may have different-sized tires mounted on the front and rear axles, and these different-sized tires also have rotation restrictions. Check your owner's manual or with a tire manufacturer or a tire dealer for proper recommendations for these specific cases.


The wheels on today's vehicles are made of steel, aluminum, or aluminum alloy (a combination of two or more metals). Steel wheels are the least expensive to produce, which is why they come as original equipment on many passenger cars and light trucks. The center section includes the bolt circle, or mounting holes, and is used to attach the wheel to the vehicle. The flange is the outermost lip of the rim, and is the area typically used for attaching wheel (balancing) weights. The rim is formed by rolling a strip of metal and then welding the two ends together. The interior section of the rim has a smaller diameter section called a drop center. This area provides the means for removing and installing a tire, since the bead is not designed to stretch. During removal or installation, most of the tire bead is pushed into the drop center so that the exposed portion can be pulled over the rim. The edges of the rim are flared to form the bead seats, which hold the tire and provide the airtight seal.

Many rims include safety humps. These are small elevations on the inside of the bead seats. Safety humps help prevent the tire from falling into the drop center during a blowout. This allows the driver to maintain better directional control of a vehicle running on one or more deflated tires.

Fig. 4: Steel Wheel
Fig. 4: Steel Wheel

WARNING: Mounting a regular tire on a high-pressure compact spare wheel is not permitted. Attempting to mount a tire of one diameter on a wheel of a different diameter or flange type may result in serious injury or death.

Mount tires only on approved rim widths. If the wheel identification stamp is not legible, or cannot be found, do not use the wheel until the size and type have been properly identified. Load, cold inflation pressure, and tire construction forces imposed on the rim/wheel must not exceed the rim/wheel manufacturer's recommendations, even if the tire is approved for a higher load or inflation. Wheels of different diameter, offset, or width cannot be mixed on the same axle. Bead seat tapers cannot be interchanged.


To avoid damaging sensors when mounting and demounting tires, it is beneficial to know where the sensors are located. Sensor assemblies are commonly attached to the valve stem, with the valve stem acting as an antenna to assist with transmitting RF signals. They may also be strapped to the drop center of the wheel. If this is the case, the sensor assembly should be located in-line with the valve stem.

Fig. 5: Valve Stem Mounted Sensor
Fig. 5: Valve Stem Mounted Sensor

To avoid damaging sensors when demounting tires, do not break the bead within 45 of either side of sensor assembly locations. Be careful not to damage sensors when mounting tires as well. Sensors are not repairable and require replacement if damaged or when their battery is completely drained. It is recommended that the sensor be carefully "dropped into the tire" prior to demounting to avoid damage.

Fig. 6: Mounting Sensor
Fig. 6: Mounting Sensor

When reinstalling the sensor, it is suggested that the locknut, gasket and valve stem be replaced and torgued to the proper specification. It is also necessary to use the proper valve cap as it is also an integral part of the system.

It may be necessary to reprogram the TPMS when the tires are rotated, when a new sensor is installed, or after the vehicle loses power. This usually requires a scan tool and may involve the use of a special magnet. Refer to the vehicle service manual to properly reprogram the TPMS.


     Steering & suspension checksheet

    Fig. 7: Steering & Suspension Checksheet (1 Of 2) Fig. 8: Steering & Suspension Checksheet (2 Of 2) WHEELS & TIRES CHECKSHEET Fig. 9: Wheels & Tires Checksheet (1 Of 2) Fig. 10

     Automotive terminology & definitions

    ACTIVE SUSPENSION SYSTEM active suspension systems move each wheel up and down to control body motion in response to road abnormalities. The system responds to inputs from the road and the driver. Wi

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