How to Change a Tyre

Whether you’re stuck on the side of the road or want to know what to do if you are this article can help.

We recently wrote about the checks you should be doing to make sure your tyres are in a good condition and today we’re continuing with the essential tyre tips with our step by step article on changing a tyre.

Not every car will be supplied with a spare tyre. In fact, many modern cars will be supplied with run-flat tyres or an inflation kit instead to save space and weight in the vehicle. If your car is supplied with either of these then you shouldn’t ever need to change the wheel yourself.

What Equipment Do You Need to Change a Tyre?

There are a few tools you should have in the car if you ever need to change a wheel and these are:

  • The spare wheel itself
  • A jack
  • The locking nut key
  • A wrench
  • The vehicle manual / handbook
  • A warning triangle

You might also find it useful to have:

  • Wheel chocks
  • Gloves
  • A high-vis jacket
  • A torch if it is dark

How to Change a Tyre:

  1. The first thing you want to do is make sure you and the vehicle are in a safe location and if you are on the roadside then you should put on a high vis jacket and put out your warning triangle to you easier to spot for other drivers. We also recommend putting on your hazard lights to help warn others that you could be a potential hazard to them.
  2. You should then prepare the vehicle and your surroundings. You should get the spare wheel and all tools out of the vehicle and put them carefully by the wheel you will be changing. If there are any passengers in the car they will need to get out and stand in a safe location.
  3. If you have wheel blocks, then we recommend putting these behind the wheel diagonal to the flat one to reduce the risk of it moving. You will still need to apply the handbrake even if you plan on using chucks.
  4. Some cars will have a plastic wheel trim, if yours does then this will need to be removed before you can change the wheel.
  5. Once the trim is out of the way then you can then use the locking nut key to loosen the locking nut, and the wrench to loosen the other nuts. You should not fully remove them yet instead just loosen them enough that you can turn them by hand without the wrench.
  6. Place the jack at a safe point on the vehicle. A lot of modern cars will have points marked on the vehicle by indents or arrows, alternatively you’ll be able to find a diagram in the vehicle manual that will show you the safe locations to place the jack on your vehicle.
  7. Once the jack is in place you will need to raise it until the tyre is around 10 – 15 cm off the ground.
  8. When the wheel is lifted and at a safe distance from the ground you can then finish undoing the wheel nuts and remove them. Put these in a safe location as you’ll them later to secure the spare wheel.
  9. You should then be able to remove the wheel by carefully sliding it forward, you should not need to use too much force to do this and if you cannot remove it then it may be best to resecure the wheel nuts and call for professional help.
  10. Line up the spare wheel with the axle and slide it on.
  11. Add the nuts you put in a safe place and tighten these by hand, don’t tighten fully as you want to put the jack down first.
  12. Lower the jack until the wheel is resting on the floor.
  13. Use the wrench and locking nut key to fully tighten the nuts until all are secure.
  14. When you are confident the nuts are as secure as possible you can then fully lower the jack and remove it from the vehicle.
  15. If you want to check the nuts again you can do so once the jack is removed to make sure they are as tight as possible.
  16. If you have a tyre pressure gauge in your vehicle then you can use this to check the pressure. If you don’t then we recommend stopping at the nearest garage to check the pressure and top up if needed.

Once you have your spare tyre on the vehicle you can continue with your journey but you should look to get a replacement tyre as soon as you are able to as a spare tyre will not have the same lifespan as a regular tyre and will wear much quicker.

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