Arguably the most common issue one experiences with a vehicle is a flat or punctured tyre. And, more often than not, just such an incident occurs when you’re miles from home. So, what do you do? Phone a breakdown service? Contact your vehicle recovery team? Or brave it and try to change the tyre yourself?
If it’s the last of these options then good for you. The number of people driving a vehicle without the knowledge of how to change a tyre is startling. So, even though you’re making the right moves in wanting to correct the issue yourself, you could doubtless do with a few simple tips on how to change a tyre.
1. Check you have the right equipment
In addition to a spare tyre, you will need to have access to a number of tools and equipment including a wrench, jack, wheel chock, wheel nut key, and the vehicle’s handbook.
2. Prepare the vehicle
Make sure you apply the handbrake to the vehicle and position the wheel chocks to prevent the car from rolling.
3. Loosen the wheel nuts
While you may be tempted to first jack the car up, it is in fact easier to loosen the wheel nuts while the vehicle is still grounded. Using the wrench, turn the wheel nuts counter clockwise to loosen - but not remove - them.
4. Jack the car up
Check your vehicle’s handbook to determine exactly where the jacking points on your car can be found. Raise the car approximately 15cm off the ground.
5. Remove the flat tyre
Continue to loosen and remove the wheel nuts and pull the tyre towards you. Once free, you should ensure you place it flat on the ground to avoid it rolling off!
6. Fit the spare tyre
Slide the spare tyre into position and tighten the wheel nuts by hand.
7. Lower the vehicle
You can now safely lower your car so that the spare tyre is in contact with the ground. At this point, you should tighten the wheel nuts using the wrench.
8. Fully lower the car
Continue to lower the car to the ground and remove the jack. You should then check the wheel nuts a final time before stowing all the equipment in the boot of your car.
9. Check the tyre pressure
Before you drive anywhere, you should check the pressure of the spare tyre you have fitted to ensure that it is safe to drive. If not, you should look to suitably inflate at a nearby petrol station.
10. Get your tyre repaired
The final step is to simply take your punctured tyre for repair or to purchase a replacement.