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