ParkAvenue 1997-1999

Tires

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Common sense and good driving habits will afford maximum tire life. Fast starts, sudden stops and hard cornering are hard on tires and will shorten their useful life span. Make sure that you don't overload the vehicle or run with incorrect pressure in the tires. Both of these practices will increase tread wear.

For optimum tire life, keep the tires properly inflated, rotate them often and have the wheel alignment checked periodically.

Inspect your tires frequently. Be especially careful to watch for bubbles in the tread or sidewall, deep cuts or underinflation. Replace any tires with bubbles in the sidewall. If cuts are so deep that they penetrate to the cords, discard the tire. Any cut in the sidewall of a radial tire renders it unsafe. Also look for uneven tread wear patterns that may indicate the front end is out of alignment or that the tires are out of balance.

Inspection



Specific to:

Buick LeSabre 1986-1999

Buick Park Avenue 1996-1999

Oldsmobile 88 1992-1999

Oldsmobile Delta 88 1986-1988

Oldsmobile LSS 1996-1999

Pontiac Bonneville 1987-1999

Inspect the tires for lacerations, puncture marks, nails and other sharp objects. Repair or replace as necessary. Also check the tires for treadwear and air pressure as outlined in Section 1 of this manual.

Check the wheel assemblies for dents, cracks, rust and metal fatigue. Repair or replace as necessary.

Snow Tires



Specific to:

Buick LeSabre 1986-1999

Buick Park Avenue 1996-1999

Oldsmobile 88 1992-1999

Oldsmobile Delta 88 1986-1988

Oldsmobile LSS 1996-1999

Pontiac Bonneville 1987-1999

Good radial tires can produce a big advantage in slippery weather, but in snow, a street radial tire does not have sufficient tread to provide traction and control. The small grooves of a street tire quickly pack with snow and the tire behaves like a billiard ball on a marble floor. The more open, chunky tread of a snow tire will self-clean as the tire turns, providing much better grip on snowy surfaces.

To satisfy municipalities requiring snow tires during weather emergencies, most snow tires carry either an M + S designation after the tire size stamped on the sidewall, or the designation "all-season." In general, no change in tire size is necessary when buying snow tires.

Most manufacturers strongly recommend the use of 4 snow tires on their vehicles for reasons of stability. If snow tires are fitted only to the drive wheels, the opposite end of the vehicle may become very unstable when braking or turning on slippery surfaces. This instability can lead to unpleasant endings if the driver can't counteract the slide in time.

Note that snow tires, whether 2 or 4, will affect vehicle handling in all non-snow situations. The stiffer, heavier snow tires will noticeably change the turning and braking characteristics of the vehicle. Once the snow tires are installed, you must re-learn the behavior of the vehicle and drive accordingly.

Consider buying extra wheels on which to mount the snow tires. Once done, the "snow wheels" can be installed and removed as needed. This eliminates the potential damage to tires or wheels from seasonal removal and installation. Even if your vehicle has styled wheels, see if inexpensive steel wheels are available. Although the look of the vehicle will change, the expensive wheels will be protected from salt, curb hits and pothole damage.

Storage



Specific to:

Buick LeSabre 1986-1999

Buick Park Avenue 1996-1999

Oldsmobile 88 1992-1999

Oldsmobile Delta 88 1986-1988

Oldsmobile LSS 1996-1999

Pontiac Bonneville 1987-1999

If they are mounted on wheels, store the tires at proper inflation pressure. All tires should be kept in a cool, dry place. If they are stored in the garage or basement, do not let them stand on a concrete floor; set them on strips of wood, a mat or a large stack of newspaper. Keeping them away from direct moisture is of paramount importance. Tires should not be stored upright, but in a flat position.

Tire Changing



Specific to:

Buick LeSabre 1986-1999

Buick Park Avenue 1996-1999

Oldsmobile 88 1992-1999

Oldsmobile Delta 88 1986-1988

Oldsmobile LSS 1996-1999

Pontiac Bonneville 1987-1999

On these vehicles, you will need a 19mm socket to loosen and remove the wheel lug nuts.

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface.
  2.  
  3. Remove the jack, tire iron and, if necessary, the spare tire from their storage compartments.
  4.  
  5. Check the owner's manual or refer to Section 1 of this manual for the jacking points on your vehicle. Then, place the jack in the proper position.
  6.  



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Fig. Place the jack at the proper lifting point on your vehicle

  1. If equipped with lug nut trim caps, remove them by either unscrewing or pulling them off the lug nuts, as appropriate.
  2.  
  3. If equipped with a wheel cover or hub cap, insert the tapered end of the tire iron in the groove and pry off the cover.
  4.  



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Fig. Before jacking the vehicle, block the diagonally opposite wheel with one or, preferably, two chocks

  1. Apply the parking brake and block the diagonally opposite wheel with a wheel chock or two.
  2.  

Wheel chocks may be purchased at your local auto parts store, or a block of wood cut into wedges may be used. If possible, keep one or two of the chocks in your tire storage compartment, in case any of the tires has to be removed on the side of the road.

  1. If equipped with an automatic transaxle, place the selector lever in P or Park; with a manual transmission/transaxle, place the shifter in Reverse.
  2.  
  3. With the tires still on the ground, use the tire iron/wrench to break the lug nuts loose.
  4.  



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Fig. With the vehicle still on the ground, break the lug nuts loose using the wrench end of the tire iron

If a nut is stuck, never use heat to loosen it or damage to the wheel and bearings may occur. If the nuts are seized, one or two heavy hammer blows directly on the end of the bolt usually loosens the rust. Be careful, as continued pounding will likely damage the brake drum or rotor.

  1. Using the jack, raise the vehicle until the tire is clear of the ground. Support the vehicle safely using jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the lug nuts, then remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  4.  



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Fig. After the lug nuts have been loosened, raise the vehicle using the jack until the tire is clear of the ground



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Fig. Remove the lug nuts from the studs



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Fig. Remove the wheel and tire assembly from the vehicle

To install:

  1. Make sure the wheel and hub mating surfaces, as well as the wheel lug studs, are clean and free of all foreign material. Always remove rust from the wheel mounting surface and the brake rotor or drum. Failure to do so may cause the lug nuts to loosen in service.
  2.  
  3. Install the tire and wheel assembly and hand-tighten the lug nuts.
  4.  
  5. Using the tire wrench, tighten all the lug nuts, in a crisscross pattern, until they are snug.
  6.  
  7. Raise the vehicle and withdraw the jackstand, then lower the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Using a torque wrench, tighten the lug nuts in a crisscross pattern to 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm). Check your owner's manual or refer to Section 1 of this manual for the proper tightening sequence.
  10.  



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Fig. Typical wheel lug tightening sequence


WARNING
Do not overtighten the lug nuts, as this may cause the wheel studs to stretch or the brake disc (rotor) to warp.

  1. If so equipped, install the wheel cover or hub cap. Make sure the valve stem protrudes through the proper opening before tapping the wheel cover into position.
  2.  
  3. If equipped, install the lug nut trim caps by pushing them or screwing them on, as applicable.
  4.  
  5. Remove the jack from under the vehicle, and place the jack and tire iron/wrench in their storage compartments. Remove the wheel chock(s).
  6.  
  7. If you have removed a flat or damaged tire, place it in the storage compartment of the vehicle and take it to your local repair station to have it fixed or replaced as soon as possible.
  8.  

Tire Design



Specific to:

Buick LeSabre 1986-1999

Buick Park Avenue 1996-1999

Oldsmobile 88 1992-1999

Oldsmobile Delta 88 1986-1988

Oldsmobile LSS 1996-1999

Pontiac Bonneville 1987-1999

For maximum satisfaction, tires should be used in sets of four. Mixing of different types (radial, bias-belted, fiberglass belted) must be avoided. In most cases, the vehicle manufacturer has designated a type of tire on which the vehicle will perform best. Your first choice when replacing tires should be to use the same type of tire that the manufacturer recommends.

When radial tires are used, tire sizes and wheel diameters should be selected to maintain ground clearance and tire load capacity equivalent to the original specified tire. Radial tires should always be used in sets of four.



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Fig. P-Metric tire coding


CAUTION
Radial tires should never be used on only the front axle.

When selecting tires, pay attention to the original size as marked on the tire. Most tires are described using an industry size code sometimes referred to as P-Metric. This allows the exact identification of the tire specifications, regardless of the manufacturer. If selecting a different tire size or brand, remember to check the installed tire for any sign of interference with the body or suspension while the vehicle is stopping, turning sharply or heavily loaded.

Tire Rotation



Specific to:

Buick LeSabre 1986-1999

Buick Park Avenue 1996-1999

Oldsmobile 88 1992-1999

Oldsmobile Delta 88 1986-1988

Oldsmobile LSS 1996-1999

Pontiac Bonneville 1987-1999

Tires must be rotated periodically to equalize wear patterns that vary with a tire's position on the vehicle. Tires will also wear in an uneven way as the front steering/suspension system wears to the point where the alignment should be reset.

Rotating the tires will ensure maximum life for the tires as a set, so you will not have to discard a tire early due to wear on only part of the tread. Regular rotation is required to equalize wear.

When rotating "unidirectional tires," make sure that they always roll in the same direction. This means that a tire used on the left side of the vehicle must not be switched to the right side and vice-versa. Such tires should only be rotated front-to-rear or rear-to-front, while always remaining on the same side of the vehicle. These tires are marked on the sidewall as to the direction of rotation; observe the marks when reinstalling the tire(s).



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Fig. Compact spare tires must NEVER be used in the rotation pattern



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Fig. Unidirectional tires are identifiable by sidewall arrows and/or the word "rotation"

Some styled or "mag" wheels may have different offsets front to rear. In these cases, the rear wheels must not be used up front and vice-versa. Furthermore, if these wheels are equipped with unidirectional tires, they cannot be rotated unless the tire is remounted for the proper direction of rotation.

The compact or space-saver spare is strictly for emergency use. It must never be included in the tire rotation or placed on the vehicle for everyday use.

 
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