How to change a tyre
Your tyres go through a lot every day – potholes, gravel driveways and the occasional bump against the kerb (don’t worry we won’t tell anyone). So, it’s no surprise to find that they’re often the first component to wear out.
Tyre problems are the third most common reason cars break down, so knowing how to replace one might just get you out of a sticky situation.
If you perform your vehicle checks regularly (about once a month will suffice) you should be able to pre-empt a problem avoid a break down. But, if you don’t keep checking regularly or have a problem on the road, you might just need to hop out and change it yourself.
When you’re at the roadside, you’ll want change your tyre as quickly as possible so you can get back up and running. To help you on your way, we’ve prepared a quick-and-easy guide to changing your tyre.
What you’ll need:
• Your owner’s handbook – it will show you exactly where to
attach the jack
• A spare wheel that adheres to all relevant safety standards
• Your vehicle jack to raise the car off the ground
• A wheel wrench with extension bar and locking wheel-nut adaptor (if fitted)
• At least one wheel chock to stop your car rolling away once the jack’s fitted
You might also want:
• Gloves (wheels are covered in oil)
• A towel/something to kneel on (the ground’s dirty too)
• Reflective jacket
First things first – Make a cunning plan
You don’t want your vehicle to be up in the air for too long, so make a plan before you get started.
To start, switch off your engine, turn your hazards on, apply the handbrake and engage first gear (or ‘P’ if you’ve got an automatic).
Put your chock under the wheel that’s diagonally opposite the one you’re replacing, grab your spare wheel from the boot well/carrier and lay it on the ground. Then, remove your wheel trim (if fitted). You may need to cut through the cable ties in the process.
Second – Let jack give you a helping hand
Place the jack in the lifting point that’s closest to the wheel you’re changing. Make sure it engages properly (check your trusty handbook to be sure) and extend the jack until it just starts to lift the vehicle on it springs (but, not any further).
Loosen the wheel nuts – normally anticlockwise – using the wheel wrench and locking wheel-nut adapter.
Raise the jack until the wheel is just off the ground, then remove the loose wheel nuts while keeping the wheel in position with your knees and foot. Make sure to leave the top one until last, so you can use both hands to lift the wheel away from the hub.
Third and finally– fit the spare tyre
Really, it’s just the reverse of these steps:
• Secure the wheel by loosely refitting the top wheel nut
• Tighten the remaining wheel nuts by hand, first in stages and then in a diagonal sequence
• Lower the jack until the wheel just touches the ground and won’t turn
• Tighten the wheel nuts fully with the wrench
• Put the damaged wheel in the boot well or carrier
A couple of things to remember:
• When loosening the wheel nuts, keep your back straight and body weight distributed evenly on both feet. Apply pressure downwards in a controlled way so you don’t lose your balance when the nut finally ‘gives’
• If your spare is a temporary use or ‘skinny’ spare, check if there are any restrictions on it. Usually it limits you to 50mph
• Your dash may light up as systems like ABS, traction control and some gearboxes react to having odd-sized tyres
Most of the time, your garage will be able to fix your old tyre. But, just in case they can’t, we’ve got a handy guide on choosing which tyres will be the right fit for you.