A flat or punctured tyre can really dampen a trip. It’s important that you remember the following tyre-changing guidelines to guarantee both a quick and safe continuation of your journey.
Before you get your hands a little dirty, make sure you have the right tools:
- A portable jack to lift your car
- An inflated spare tyre
- A wheel spanner to remove and refit the wheel
By following these 10 steps, you can prevent yourself from being stranded for hours, waiting for the AA or a tow truck, and be in control of the whole situation.
- Once you’ve realised that you have a flat or punctured tyre, immediately move into the emergency lane. Make sure your engine is turned off, your handbrake is up, and your hazard lights are switched on.
- Locate your tools of the trade: portable jack, spare tyre and wheel spanner
- First, remove your wheel cover or hubcap with the wheel spanner
- Loosen the wheel's lug nuts or bolts without removing them from their studs. Turn your wrench counterclockwise and be prepared to throw some weight and muscle onto it.
- Once the bolts are loosened, it’s time to jack up the car. Most cars will have a reinforced lip where the jack can be placed. If you cannot locate this, look for a solid portion of the frame to place the jack on. Make sure the jack is on firm level ground. Lift the car until the tyre is approximately 2cm off the ground and visibly relaxed on the springs and struts.
- Once the wheel is off the ground, finish removing the bolts. Use the spanner or simply turn the bolts until they come loose.
- Take off the flat tyre slowly and set it aside
- Lift the spare tyre into position and begin refastening the bolts by hand as tight as you can without the wheel spinning. Don't worry about getting the bolts super tight, as you will do the final tightening when the car is off the jack.
- Once the wheel has been fastened properly, lower your car down gently disengaging the jack. Finish tightening the nuts on the wheel when the car is firmly on the ground.
- Replace your wheel cover or hubcap - voila, you are ready to hit the road again!
Remember that this is a temporary wheel and not meant for days of driving, long distances or high speeds, so replace it as soon as you can.