Not sure how to change a tyre? Our friends in SandyFord Motor Centre have some useful advice in this step by step guide
Knowing how to change a flat tyre is essential knowledge for any driver. You never know what can happen and what situation you may end up in, so if you’re responsible enough to be driving, you should be responsible enough to learn this imperative life skill. Experiencing a tyre blowout can be a scary thing, especially if you don’t know what to do. That’s why we’re here to prepare you by explaining how to change a flat tyre, so if you do one day find yourself in such an unfortunate situation, you’ll feel confident to handle it calmly and correctly.
Before you should even find yourself by the side of the road with a flat tyre, you should already know to have the necessary equipment in your car to change it.
The essential equipment you’ll need to change your tyre that should have come with the purchase of your vehicle;
- A fully inflated spare tyre
- A Jack to lift your car off the ground
- A Lug Wrench- to remove the wheel nuts
- Your vehicle handbook- to reference back to as this blog is a general guide and some vehicles may vary.
Other essential equipment you should keep in your vehicle at all times, should you need to change a tyre.
- Wheel wedges/ Bricks – to secure the car from rolling
It may also be useful to carry:
- Flashlight with batteries (& spare batteries)– for working in the dark
- Gloves – your wheels will be dirty
- Reflective rain jacket – to protect you from the rain and keep you visible to other road users
- 2” x 6” plank of wood – to secure the jack
- Tyre pressure gauge – for checking your new tyre is correctly inflated
GET SAFE AND KEEP CALM
If your tyre has blown out or you realise it’s flat, don’t panic, don’t swerve or brake suddenly. Keep calm, slow down and scan your surroundings. Get your vehicle to a safe space, preferably out of the way of other drivers and on a flat open empty stretch of road, if possible. Never attempt changing a tyre on a narrow shoulder of the road with oncoming traffic. Once you’re in a safe space, apply your parking brake, turn your hazard lights on to warn others who may be nearby, and proceed to change your tyre.
REMOVING THE FLAT TYRE
1- Position The Wheel Wedges
Wheel wedges/ wheel clocks/ large bricks are going to act as a force to stop your car from rolling while you change your flat tyre.
If you’re changing a front tyre, place the wheel wedges behind the rear tyres. If you’re changing a rear tyre, place them in front of the front tyres.
2- Remove Hubcaps
Some vehicles have hubcaps covering the lug nuts and others don’t. If yours does; remove them using the flat end of your wrench, unless your vehicle has provided a specific tool for removing its hubcaps.
3- Loosen Lug Nuts
We recommend doing this before your car is off the ground because it’s easier and safer. Remember; righty tighty, lefty loosey! Use your lug wrench to loosen (don’t fully remove just yet) your lug nuts, turning counterclockwise. They’ll be on tightly so don’t be surprised if it requires some force to do this.
4- Jack The Car Up
To complete this step safely and correctly you’ll need to direct yourself to your vehicle handbook. There you’ll find your vehicle jacking point and instructions relevant to your exact vehicle. Jack the car up on the side nearest to the tyre you need to change and use your plank of wood to secure the jack on the ground so it keeps its balance. Raise your vehicle to approximately 6 inches/ 10-15cm off the ground while never positioning any part of your body under the car.
5- Remove The Flat Tyre
Fully remove the lug nuts and pull the tyre gently off your vehicle, placing it flatly aside.
FITTING THE SPARE TYRE
1- Position The Spare Tyre
Mount the spare tyre by aligning the rim to the lug bolts, sliding the wheel on till the lug bolts appear through the rim.
Reinstate the lug nuts and screw them on by hand.
2- Lower The Vehicle
Bring your car back down to the ground and remove the jack.
3- Tighten Lug Bolts & Replace Hubcaps
Fully tighten the lug bolts as well as you can using your wrench. Put your whole weight into it to get it as tight as possible. Pop the hubcaps back on the same way you took them off.
4- Check Tyre Pressure
If you’ve got one handy, use a tyre pressure gauge to ensure your new tyre is correctly inflated. If not, or the pressure is low, drive slowly and carefully to a petrol station or garage and ask to use the gauge there, and inflate if necessary.
5- Put Away Tools & Drive
You hopefully completed all the steps correctly but to be safe; tidy up and make your way to a service station for a check-up.
IF YOU DON’T HAVE A SPARE TYRE- TYRE SEALANT
Nowadays, many cars are sold without the extra feat of a spare tyre, and offer a can of tyre sealant foam instead, with the claim of making for a lighter vehicle and saving the customer space.
HOW TO USE;
Tyre sealant foams are quite easy to use. All you do is spray the foam into your tyre via your tyre valve, the foam will then proceed to expand and seal any lesions in your tyre. Then just re-inflate your tyre with a compressor that should have been provided alongside your sealing foam, and you’re good to go. These sealants are said to hold out for a little while, a day or two at most after which you’ll need a tyre change regardless. It’s best to use these then head straight to get your car serviced as soon as possible.
Tyre sealant won’t work for all tyre perforations. The sealing foam will only repair minor punctures rather than large tears, and so- we recommend to always carry a spare tyre regardless, and now that you know how to change one, you’ve got no excuse not to.
Don’t forget to replace your spare tyre!
Find out more information about Sandyford Motor Centre
19th February 2020