It’s a problem that many motorists have suffered in the past. You’re driving along and all of a sudden something doesn’t feel or sound quite right. You pull over and your fears are confirmed, you’ve got a flat tyre. But would you know what to do about it?
A recent survey of 2,000 drivers found that less than half of those aged over 35 would feel confident in changing a tyre. In the younger generation the numbers were even more telling, with only 27% of 18-23-year-olds believing they could do the job without any problems.
This means there are a lot of drivers out there who would struggle to cope with a puncture, which could lead to long periods waiting by the roadside for assistance. With that in mind, here’s a simple guide to changing a tyre.
- Pull over to a safe place and put your hazard lights on. Make sure the engine is switched off and the handbrake is firmly applied.
- If you have a high-visibility jacket, put it on and if you have a warning triangle then place that behind your vehicle to make other drivers aware.
3. Remove the spare wheel, which will typically be stored in a compartment in your boot.
4. Grab the necessary tools. The essentials are a jack for lifting the car off the ground and a torque wrench for removing and reattaching the wheel nuts. It’s also advisable to consult the car’s handbook as this will provide information regarding the jacking points.
5. Loosen the wheel nuts by turning the wrench in an anti-clockwise direction. This is easier to do while the wheel is still on the ground, but don’t remove the nuts all the way at this stage.
6. Check the handbook and place the jack under the jacking points. Raise the car slowly and steadily until it’s four to six inches off the ground.
7. Remove the wheel nuts completely – they should come off by hand at this point – and then take off the tyre. Place it flat on the ground so that it doesn’t roll away.
8. Slide the spare wheel onto the hub and, by hand, turn the nuts in a clockwise motion to tighten them.
9. Lower the car with the jack so that the wheel is touching the ground and then use your wrench to tighten the nuts fully.
10. Lower the car the rest of the way and remove the jack.
11. Place the flat tyre and the tools back in the boot. If you have a pressure gauge with you, use that to check the pressure of the new tyre.
12. Drive carefully – your spare tyre may not be able to withstand such high speeds as the original one.