How to Change a Tyre
If there’s one thing all drivers can agree on, it’s that there’s never a good time for a flat tyre. But don’t worry, changing a flat tyre yourself isn’t difficult if you know the steps to follow.
What equipment do I need to change a tyre?
To change the tyre on most cars you’ll need:
- You car owner’s manual
- Your spare tyre
- A wheel brace/wrench
- A jack
There are some other items you may wish to store in your vehicle to ensure you’re prepared for a flat, no matter the weather:
- A rain poncho
- A flashlight
The tools required to change a flat tyre will usually be with the spare in your boot. Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual if you need help locating them. The owner’s manual will also provide any extra information you should be aware of - specific to your vehicle - when you’re changing a flat tyre.
And remember, when you’re checking the tyre pressure of your other tyres, inflate your spare too. This will ensure it’s ready if you ever get a puncture or flat tyre.
Steps for changing a tyre
1. Pull over in a safe location
If you suspect you have a flat tyre, or know you have a flat tyre, drive slowly and pull over in a safe place. When changing a tyre, the ground must be firm enough to support the jack, flat to ensure the jack doesn't slip, and away from passing traffic to ensure your safety.
You should also turn your hazard lights on. Do this as early as it is safe to do so to let other drivers know you have an issue with your vehicle. When you’ve pulled over in a safe spot, you should also ask all passengers to step out of the vehicle.
2. Secure the vehicle
It’s critical that the vehicle is secure before attempting to change a tyre. Secure the handbrake, ensure the vehicle is in park (first gear if manual) and remove the keys from the ignition.
3. Remove the hubcap or wheel cover
Remove the hubcap or wheel nut covers, depending on which is fitted to your vehicle.
You can remove the hubcap using the flat end of your wheel brace. Should your hubcaps require a different tool, check your owner’s manual.
4. Loosen the wheel nuts
Using the wheel brace, turn the wheel nuts counterclockwise until you loosen them approximately one turn.
5. Raise the vehicle with the jack
Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual to identify the correct placing for the jack. Use the jack to slowly raise the vehicle.
Important: For your safety, in case the jack slips or gives way, you or another person should never get under the car or place any body part under the car while it’s supported by the jack.
6. Unscrew the wheel nuts
When the wheel is off the ground, you can now remove each wheel nut. You should be able to do this mostly by hand, as you’ve already loosened them in step 4.
7. Remove the wheel
Remove the wheel of the car by gripping the tyre by the treads. Set the tyre on its side so it doesn’t roll away.
Tip: You can place the flat tyre under the car as an extra safety precaution. That way, if the jack gives way or slips there is still something to prevent your vehicle from making contact with the ground and causing damage.
8. Lift the spare wheel onto the hub
Now, lift the spare wheel onto the hub, ensuring it’s fitted properly. Put the wheel nuts back on and tighten them all the way by hand.
9. Lower the vehicle and tighten the wheel nuts
Using the jack, slowly lower the vehicle so the spare tyre is on the ground - but not so the full weight of the vehicle is on the tyre.
You should now use the wheel brace to tighten the wheel nuts as much as possible.
10. Stow the flat tyre and equipment
You can now safely lower the vehicle all the way and remove the jack. Stow the flat tyre along with all equipment used before driving away.
Tip: You should drive cautiously and check occasionally when driving on your spare to ensure the wheel nuts are fastly tightened.
11. Take your flat tyre to a technician
Spare tyres are not designed to drive at high speeds or for long distances. Your technician will be able to assess the damage to your tyre, and determine if it can be repaired or needs to be replaced.
Need help fitting, changing or assessing your tyres? Get in touch with your nearest Beaurepaires store.