You are stuck on the side of the road with a flat tyre. Now what? Here are ten steps to changing a tyre.
Although most people can change a tyre blindfolded (well, not really), a large percentage of the population wouldn’t know where to start. So, if you weren’t one of the lucky ones to receive a practical dad, we thought we would help you out. Let’s face it; no-one wants to be the damsel in distress on the side of the road. Instead of calling your insurance company to come out and rescue you, learn how to do it yourself!
Make sure that your car is on a flat, stable surface and cannot move unexpectedly. Ensure your handbrake is up and that your car is in fourth gear. Try and put a brick or rock behind, and in front of, the wheels to prevent it from rolling. Make sure that the car is fully secured before proceeding.
Remove the jack and the spare tyre from the boot and place next to the car. Put the jack under the car, close to the wheel that needs changing. Make sure that you don’t place it on the plastic. Rather, have a look for the metal beams running on either side of the underside of your vehicle. They run from the front wheels to the back. Notice that the beams have two notches near the front and rear wheels. Between these notches is where you can rest the jack.
Raise the jack, but NOT enough to start lifting the car up. The car simply needs to be resting on the jack. Once your car is supported, and safe, you can proceed. Make sure that you are aware, at all times, of any movement of the car to avoid injury.
If you have a hubcap, pop it off using a spanner or wrench. Otherwise, keeping the wheel on the ground, loosen the nuts using a wrench to turn the nuts counterclockwise. If you are struggling to twist the nuts, put a piece of piping over the wrench for leverage. DON’T take them off completely. Just release them and remove any resistance.
Now is the time to pump the jack to begin lifting the car. Proceed with absolute caution at this stage. Keep watching to make sure that the jack does not slip and that the car is not in danger of falling on top of you. Lift until the wheel is fully suspended in the air.
Remove the nuts completely from the tyre. Keep turning them counterclockwise until they are free. If you have a hubcap, place them all together in the hubcap to prevent them from rolling away.
Remove the tyre from the car. There might be some resistance due to rust. Try hitting the outside of the tyre to loosen it if this happens. We also recommend that you leave the tyre there just in case the jack fails. It will prevent the car from falling on you.
Place the spare tyre on the hub. Make sure to align it correctly, and don’t put the tyre backwards. The valve stem should be on the outside and face away from the car.
Tighten the nuts as far as you can, by hand and then with the wrench. Make sure here, though, that you do it carefully and do not disturb the jack. They should all be sitting snugly on the tyre. Lower the jack back down, but NOT all the way. Make sure the full weight of the car is not fully on the tyre. Now, tighten the nuts with the wrench fully.
Fully tighten the nuts and lower the car completely to the ground. Place your tyre back in the boot and make sure that the wheel is securely on. You can now take the tyre to be replaced or repaired.