Have you ever been stuck on the side of the road with a flat tyre and not sure what to do? Fortunately, changing a tyre is a pretty simple task, provided you’re prepared and willing to exert a little effort. Here’s how it is done.
- Find a safe place to stop
Find a flat, stable and safe place to change your tyre. You should have a solid, level surface that will restrict the car from rolling. If you are near a road, park as far from traffic as possible and turn on your hazard lights. Avoid soft ground and hills, and if you can’t, find a thick slab of wood to support the car’s weight.
- Apply parking brake
Apply the parking brake and put car into “Park” position. For manual transmission, put your vehicle in first or reverse gear.
- Place bulky objects (if there is any)
Place a heavy object (e.g., rock, concrete, spare wheel, etc.) in front of the front and back wheels.
- Find the jacking point
Ensure that the jack is in contact with the metal portion of your car’s frame. For most modern cars, there is a small notch or mark just behind the front wheel wells, or in front of the rear wheel wells. Refer to the Owner’s Manual to be doubly sure.
- Raise the jack
Raise the jack until it is supporting (but not lifting) the car. The jack should be firmly in place against the underside of the vehicle.
- Loosen the wheel nuts
Keep the wheel on the ground and loosen the wheel nuts by turning counter-clockwise, but don’t remove them yet as the nuts are needed to hold the wheel in place when off the ground.
- Raise the vehicle up
Pump or crank the jack to lift the wheel off the ground high enough to remove it and remove the nuts completely.
- Remove the wheel nuts and wheel
Remove the wheel and then replace it with the spare which you should have taken out from the boot or from under the vehicle.
- Put the wheel nuts back on and tighten
Tighten the wheel nuts by hand until they are all snug. Then, using the wrench, tighten them as tight possible using the star pattern for wheels with five lugs or a cross pattern for wheels with four lugs until they are equally tight. This is to ensure the wheel nuts are holding the wheel in place with equal force.
- Lower the vehicle down slowly
Lower the vehicle slowly until the tyre touches the ground, and then tighten the nuts as much as possible. Use moderate force while tightening.
- Store the damaged wheel safely
Place the punctured tyre back in the boot or on mounting mounts usually located. If possible, you should look for a tyre workshop to get the it addressed as soon as possible. Small punctures can usually be repaired easily and quickly but if the damage is great, then you will to replace to a new tyre.
- Things to take note on ‘space-saver’ tyre
If your vehicle has a ‘space-saver’ tyre, the procedure for changing it is the same. However, not that such tyres are only for emergency use and should not be driven over 80 km/h. They should be removed as soon as possible when the original tyre has been repaired or replaced.