How to change a tire on the car

Flat tires can happen at any time of day and while there may be a person who stops to help you, you may find yourself needing to change the tire by yourself.

Find a safe place

It is very important that you find a flat piece of ground to stop on. Try to drive as far off the road as possible while still keeping the car flat. Avoid at all costs, stopping on a bend in the road as this reduces the chance of being seen by approaching cars. Additionally, you should avoid dark areas at night or unsafe places. You can, even with a flat tire, drive slowly to a better lit area.

Stabilize the car

Use the hand brake (also known as the parking brake) to prevent the car from rolling and turn on the hazard lights. You should also place the car in gear to prevent rolling.

Get what you need

You should find in the car boot a jack and a spare tire. Often the jack is secured under the spare tire. If you regularly drive the car you may want to keep a pair of gloves for yourself and maybe the car owner’s manual. A mat to kneel on and a torch will also be handy.

Loosen the lug nuts

You may need to pry the hubcap off if the lug nuts are behind this. You should start to loosen the lug nuts by turning the wrench counterclockwise. Loosen the lug nuts until they can be turned by hand.

Jack up the car

You will need to place the jack under the metal part of the car’s framework. Never place the jack on any plastic part of the car. If you are in any doubt about this then refer to the owner’s manual. 

Once the jack is in place you will be able to turn it to lift the wheel off the ground. Make sure that the jack stays firmly upright and does not start to lean to either side.

Remove the nuts and tire

One by one, turn then remove the lug nuts and remove them completely. Make sure to keep them together in a safe place. Remove the tire by pulling it straight towards your body.

Place the spare tire on

You will do this by lining up the holes with the lug nut posts. Push the spare tire on as far as you can.

Replace the lug nuts

Add the lug nuts and tighten them one at a time so that the tire remains even. Tighten as far as you can, keeping the tire straight.

Lower and tighten

Slowly start to lower the car until the spare tire is on the ground. After the tire is settled on the ground you can tighten the lug nuts completely. You should do this in increments, so start with nut 1,3,5,2,4, 1... and so on. This will help to keep the tire straight.

Lower all the way 

You should be able to remove the jack now and tighten the lug nuts all the way. Do this incrementally until you can tighten them no further.  

Clear up

Place the old tire in the boot and head to a tire repair place. You should not be driving without a spare tire in a useable condition so don’t put this off until it is ‘more convenient.’

Note:  it is not a good idea to use the spare tire for more than necessary so once you have had the old one repaired or replaced, you should swap them over again. The people at the tire shop should help you with this.



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