Simple flat tyre changing tips

A quick guide to replacing a car wheel and tyre

Simple flat tyre changing tips

It seems, anecdotally at least, that motorists are increasingly unable, or unwilling, to change a car wheel, should they get a flat tyre.

Yes, there are some things to be mindful of, but anyone can change a wheel and we reckon it’s a task all drivers should be able to do.

First of all however, before we go any further, have a look to see if you do indeed have a spare tyre. Many cars today come with a puncture repair kit instead.

If you find that you do have a repair kit (which will primarily feature a can of tyre inflator), familiarise yourself with your kit and how it works, so you’ll know what to do should you get a flat tyre.

Simple Flat Tyre Changing Tips:

A wheel change for those drivers who have a spare in their car shouldn’t be seen as an impossible task, if you follow some simple steps.

Firstly, this is a great chance to take advantage of the preparation kit you should have in your car, which could include handy items such as:

  • Sturdy gloves that offer protection and also enough feel
  • Something to kneel on, like an old towel/piece of carpet
  • A torch
  • Basic tools, such as some pliers and screwdrivers (Phillips-head and straight blade)
  • Reflective jacket

Car wheel change steps:

  • Safety first – don’t attempt a tyre change in an area where you may be at risk, such as on the hard shoulder of a motorway
  • Switch off your engine and turn on your hazard lights
  • Your vehicle should either be in first gear or ‘Park’ if it’s an automatic and the parking brake should be engaged
  • Check to make sure your spare tyre is properly inflated and has enough tread
  • Make sure everyone is out of the vehicle and safely away from the vehicle before you start.
  • You need a firm and flat spot to place your vehicle jack
  • Locate the correct jacking points in your cars owner’s manual and only use these specially designed places
  • Never work under your vehicle while it’s raised on a jack
  • After locating the correct jacking point, extend the jack until it just starts to take up the weight of the vehicle, but doesn’t lift the wheel off the ground
  • Loosen the wheel nuts (most need to be twisted anticlockwise) using the vehicle’s wheel wrench
  • Apply effort downwards in a controlled way, so that when the nut finally ‘gives’ you won’t lose your balance
  • When all the wheel nuts are loose, raise the jack until the wheel is just off the ground
  • Remove the loose wheel nuts while keeping the wheel in position with your knee or foot
  • Leave the top one until last, so you can use both hands to lift the wheel away from the hub

When fitting the spare wheel, it is essentially a reversal of these steps:

  • Secure the wheel by loosely refitting the top wheel nut first
  • Tighten the remaining wheel nuts by hand, firstly in stages and in a diagonal sequence
  • Lower the jack carefully until the wheel just touches the ground and won’t turn
  • Tighten the wheel nuts fully with the wheel wrench, again in a diagonal sequence
  • Put the damaged wheel in the boot well or carrier and don’t forget to get it repaired ASAP

Got any other motoring or car hints or tips? Send them in via [email protected] or use the Contact page.

About Joel Helmes 2678 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Behind the Wheel. Joel has a background as a radio broadcaster with on-air roles at 4BC, 4KQ, 2KY, 2LT and 2UE amongst others, as well as a news editor and program director. Joel’s relationship with cars stems back to his early childhood learning to change oil and brakes with his father and uncle. This continued on into his driving years owning an assorted collection of cars.

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