How to Change a Tyre

How to change a tyre is one of those life skills that everyone should know – a bit like learning to swim!   It’s not difficult if you follow a few basic steps and have the right equipment to hand and know how to use it….

Flat tyres often occur when you are in the most inconvenient locations. If you discover a flat whilst you are out on a road, you will need to find a safe place to pull over and then change your tyre.  Your safety is paramount so ensure you are well clear of traffic and preferably on a hard, level surface.

If you find you have had to stop on soft ground, a piece of solid board is a handy item for sticking underneath the jack before you start lifting up the car.  It might be worthwhile having a piece in the car with your other pieces of equipment just in case.

Before you even attempt to change a tyre, there are certain items that you require in order to do so successfully!

  • Firstly, you will need a spare wheel and tyre
  • Secondly a wheel brace for loosening the nuts, alternatively an appropriately sized socket with long handle
  • Thirdly a jack

Now you will need to lift up the vehicle

Before you get started, switch your hazard lights on, ensuring you are in park position (if its an automatic) and check that the handbrake is also on.   Then look and feel for the notches or grooves on the underside of the car – this is where the jack is safely placed. Once you are happy with the stability of your car and you are happy that the placement of the jack is secure, you then start to slowly turn the wheel brace until you have taken a little of the weight from the flat tyre. N.B Make sure that there enough weight on the tyre to let you loosen the wheel nuts without accidentally spinning the wheel.

Loosen the wheel nuts and then remove the flat tyre

Sometimes the wheel nuts can be awkward and stubborn and may not come off easily.  The right technique can aid this.  Once you have positioned the wheel brace onto one of the nuts, use a quick anti-clockwise ‘jolt’ to loosen it. You need to face the wheel and keep both of your arms and your back straight as you are doing this. Do not let the wheel brace slip off the nut. Loosen each nut in the same way.  The technique is to keep the wheel brace virtually horizontal to the ground and to let your body weight do most of the work.

Once you have loosened all of the nuts, raise the jack so that the car is high enough off the ground so you can remove the flat tyre and replace it with your spare. As a rough guide, between 1 -2 inches off the ground is usually sufficient clearance.

Before you can remove the flat tyre, you need to take off all the wheel nuts and carefully lift the wheel from the vehicle, keeping the wheel nuts safe.

Putting the new tyre on

Remove the spare from the boot of your car (or wherever it is located, each vehicle can be different –  but it’s wise to ensure you know where it is located before embarking on a journey). Position the spare up against the wheel assembly.  Then, line up the wheel holes so you can lift it straight onto the car in one go.  Once the wheel is on and your are happy with the position, you then need to screw back on the wheel nuts and hand tighten them.  A complete and full tightening of the nuts needs to be done after the car is down on the ground and off the jack and is completely stable

Lower the car back to the ground and remove the jack

Slowly wind the jack down until the new tyre has taken your car’s weight. Then remove the jack. This is now the time to fully tighten the wheel nuts. Using your body weight in conjunction with your arm strength, remembering to keep the wheel brace parallel to the ground as you tighten each wheel nut.

CONGRATULATIONS!  You have just successfully changed your tyre  😊

Last but not least…

Remember to place your equipment back in its place in the car for the next time and to replace your spare!

Oct 9, 2019

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