The holiday season is coming up hard and fast, and with all the travel plans and festive celebrations, it’s good to be prepared for anything, and while it may seem rudimentary at this point, knowing exactly how to change a tyre is crucial.
Of course, we all want to avoid this situation at all costs, but if you are stuck and need to do a quick tyre swap, then this handy guide should help make the process the most painless possible.
Assuming you have a healthy and inflated spare tyre as a replacement for the flat/damaged tyre, follow the simple steps below and you will be back on the road in no time. If in the worst case scenario your spare tyre is also deflated (don’t worry, it happens to the best of us), you may want to consider buying some tyre sealant or an emergency repair kit.
Firstly, ensure you have the following items in your vehicle. All the tools are most commonly found in the boot underneath the carpet or in the spare wheel compartment of the boot.
- Car Jack or scissor jack
- Wheel Iron or Wheel Spanner
- Wheel Lock Nut or Lock Nut Key
- Emergency Triangle (optional, but recommended for safety)
Preliminary checks: Ensure the vehicle is on a flat and level ground. The handbrake should be engaged and the vehicle, if manual, should be in gear. Ensure your emergency lights are on and the emergency triangle is setup behind the vehicle within a recommended distance.
Step 1: Loosen the nuts of the wheel you are removing using the wheel spanner. One of the wheel nuts will require the nut lock-key. This is done before using the jack. Only loosen the nuts enough to release the torque. This is to ensure the wheel nuts can be unscrewed when the wheel is not touching the ground for step 2.
Step 2: Mount the jack nearest to the wheel you are removing. Some cars have dedicated spots underneath the chassis where the jack slots or fits into. You are now ready to extend the jack until it lifts the wheel of the vehicle off the ground. Ensure the jack is positioned tightly under the vehicle and level on the ground.
Step 3: Extend the jack by winding the lever until the wheel is completely off the ground and free to be removed.
Step 4: Completely remove the wheel nuts using the wheel spanner in an anti-clockwise motion. Continue to remove the wheel.
Step 5: Holding the new wheel onto the hub with the bolt holes aligned, screw the bolts in a diagonal order (the bolts opposite one another) with your hands until the wheel holds in position.
Step 6: Use the wheel spanner to screw/rotate the wheel nuts a little further. The nuts will be completely tightened in Step 8.
Step 7: Once the wheel is positioned and attached, slowly lower the vehicle by contracting the jack until the wheel is touching the ground.
Step 8: Firmly tighten each wheel nut using the wheel spanner. Be sure to not overturn the wheel nuts.
Step 9: Remove the jack from underneath the vehicle and restore the spanner, wheel lock-nut, emergency triangle and jack into the vehicle.
You are now safe to drive to the nearest tyre repair shop and have your tyre looked at and repaired by a professional.
You can give yourself a pat on the back for successfully changing your own tyre.
Finally, if you want to prevent this from happening again, you can have tyre sealant installed into all 5 tyres of your vehicle. The puncture proof sealant will automatically and instantly seal any punctures that you may get. It lasts for the life of the tyre and has additional benefits such as maintaining lower running temperatures, seals all sorts of slow punctures and ensures a higher degree of safety. It will also ensure your spare tyre never goes flat. You can either have it installed into your tyres as a preventative, or carry an emergency bottle on you when you may need it. You can check out more on tyre sealants here.
Remember, prevention is better than cure. Safe travelling everyone.