23 Jan 2019
How do I change a flat tyre?
Believe it or not, changing tyres isn’t just for the hairy chest variety. Follow these simple steps to fix the problem and be on your way in no time.
- Find a safe spot to pull over. If you're on the freeway, taking the next exit is the safest bet, even if you have to drive on a blown tyre. Otherwise, pull as far onto the shoulder as possible. Don't park in the middle of a curve where approaching cars can't see you and choose a flat spot to park; jacking up your car on a hill can be a disaster! If you have a manual transmission, leave your car in gear. Finally, be sure to set your parking brake so your car doesn’t roll off into the blue yonder!
- Put your hazards on. Get the jack, wrench, and spare tire from your boot and bring them over to the tyre that is flat. Use other tools or supplies, if needed.
- Loosen up. Use the wrench to loosen the lug nuts. You may need to remove the hubcap. Don't remove the lug nuts at this point; simply loosen them by turning the wrench to the left (counter-clockwise). If the lug nuts are really tight, try placing the wrench on the nut and standing on the wrench arm to use your full weight on it.
- Get lifting. Use the jack to lift the vehicle off the ground. Different car models may have different places to put the jack; consult your owner's manual for specific locations. Once the jack is securely in the correct spot, jack up the car until the tire is about 6 inches off the ground.
- Start pulling. Remove the lug nuts and pull the tyre off the car. Make sure to place the lug nuts in a pile that won't get scattered, and pull the tyre towards you to remove it from the wheel base.
- Now’s the time for your spare to shine. Place the spare on the car. Line up the lug nut posts with the holes in the spare, and push the spare all the way onto the wheel base until it can't go any farther.
- Start lugging. Put on the lug nuts. Don't put them on tightly; just make sure they're on enough for the spare to stay on the car for a moment.
- Bring your car back to earth. Use the jack to bring the car back down to ground level. Remove the jack from underneath the car.
- Tighten things up. With the car back on the ground, you can now tighten the lug nuts. Rather than tightening them one by one in order, start with one lug nut, tighten it about 50%, move to the opposite nut (across the circle) and tighten that one about the same amount. Keep tightening opposite lug nuts gradually in turn until each lug nut is as tight as it can be.
- Give your old tyre the boot. Put your flat tire and tools back in your boot and be sure not to leave anything on the side of the road.
- Fist pump the air and drive off smiling. You have successfully just changed your own tyre all on your own, road side assistance se foet - you’re your own tyre changing hero!