How to change a tyre is one of those things that everyone should know how to do. A flat tyre tends to happen at the worst possible moment (usually at night when it’s raining!), but fortunately, changing tyres is very easy. We’re going to walk you through how to change a tyre so that next time you won’t need to call roadside assistance and wait for hours!
Of course, the easiest way to deal with this problem is not to have it in the first place! A regular tyre maintenance programme should help prevent flats, so check out our 8 Great Tips to Keep Your Wheels and Tyres Safe!
How to Change a Tyre: What You Need
Before you learn how to change a tyre, let’s talk basic equipment here. There are three things that you need to change that flat tyre. You’ll need (obviously) a spare tyre, but you’ll also need a lug wrench and a jack. Chances are that your car already came equipped with a lug wrench and a jack, if not, you’ll need to make sure that you head down to your auto supply store and get equipped! It’s best to ask the advice of a sales assistant if you don’t know what you’re buying.
You might want to carry a few more items though, just to make your life a little easier. Some good things to have in your car include: a torch, a plastic tarp (to kneel on if it’s raining), and some work gloves to protect your hands.
How to Change a Tyre: Before You Start
Let’s say you’re driving down the highway and you feel that terrible bumping. Great. A flat tyre. Just what you needed, right? Before you stop your car though, think first. You need to find a safe place to change that flat. What are you looking for? Somewhere flat, and as far off the road as possible. You shouldn’t drive too far with a flat, but if you can then find a nice, flat place to get to work.
How to Change a Tyre: The Process
Now you’re going to learn how to change a tyre. Excited? It’s really not that difficult, just follow the simple step by step instructions below.
Step One: Be Safe
Okay, so you’ve found a safe place to stop, preferably with the tyre you need to change facing away from the road, so put on your hazard warning lights and get all your equipment out of the car!
Step Two: Lug Nuts
Before you do anything else you’ll need to loosen the lug nuts of your wheel. You might need to take off the hubcap first (a nail file, screwdriver or other slim tool will help if it’s stuck), and underneath you should see a series of round bolts. Place your lug wrench onto one of these and twist (anti-clockwise!) until you think you can do the rest of the job by hand. DON’T completely remove them, just loosen them!
Step Three: Jack Up the Car
When most people think of how to change a tyre they think of jacking up the car, but don’t do this until those lug nuts have been loosened. Once you’re ready, place the jack under the car and pump it up about 15 cms. Different cars have different jack placement, so check your car manual to find out where yours is.
Step Four: Remove the Wheel
Once the car is off the ground, remove the lug nuts completely by hand and keep them somewhere safe (Pro Tip: putting lug nuts inside the hub cap is a great way to keep them safe but handy!). Then pull the wheel straight towards you until it comes off and place the flat tyre back into the trunk of your car.
Step Five: Put the New Tyre On
Now you’re just going to do everything again in reverse. Push the spare tyre straight back (you might need to twist a little until it goes on smoothly). Once the tyre is on, put the lug nuts back on and tighten them by hand (NOT with the wrench). Then pump the jack back down and remove it. Once your car is safely back on the ground tighten the lug nuts with your wrench (go clockwise this time!), and once they’re tight, you’re good to go!
Extra How to Change a Tyre Tips
We’re not done yet, we’ve got a few pro tips that should help make the job easier! Check these out:
If you drive an automatic, obviously put your car in park, if you drive a manual car put it in first or reverse to keep the car steady;
If you can’t stop on completely flat ground then scout around for some rocks and place them behind the tyres at the front and back to help keep your car from rolling (you can also buy tyre blocks that do the same thing);
Most cars these days have plastic molding underneath, meaning you’ll cause damage if you put the jack in the wrong place. DO check your owners manual, but if it’s an emergency and you can’t, at least feel under the car for something that feels like metal to place the jack under;
Always replace your spare tyre as soon as possible, there are plenty of cheap tyres on the market, or even second hand tyres, you don’t need to spend a fortune, but you do need a decent spare tyre in case of emergency, so if you use that spare, replace it!;
Lug nuts too tight to undo? Try placing the wrench on and then pushing down at the end of the wrench with your whole body weight, you can also try hitting the end of the wrench with a rock.
How to Change a Tyre: Bottom Line Time
Changing a tyre is fairly simple, and doing your own car maintenance has all kinds of advantages. You’ll save yourself money, and time as well, since you won’t need to wait for roadside assistance to come and help you. Plus, a well maintained car means a safer car and even lower insurance premiums.
We’ve got one more how to change a tyre pro tip for you: Print this article out and keep it in your glove box! That way, if you ever need to know how to change a tyre you’ll have all the info you need at hand!
Main Subject: how to change a tyre
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