How to Change a Car Tyre - It Only Takes About 30 Mins
If one of your tyres has a problem, the first thing to think about is your safety. If the car is stationary, don't try and move it as the drive to get help could put you and other road users in danger.
If the problem happens when you're driving, a slow or sudden puncture for example, try to reduce your speed as safely as possible (ideally to no more than 5mph) and move yourself out of danger to the edge, or preferably off the road - a lay by perhaps, or the hard shoulder if you're on the motorway.
You should NOT attempt to change a tyre on the hard shoulder as you could be putting yourself in extreme danger. Walk to the nearest emergency telephone and call for assistance.
Getting down to business - Changing a tyre
With your hazard lights on, the engine off, the car in reverse (if it's a manual) and the handbrake engaged, you're ready to start. First things, first. You can't actually change a tyre without changing the whole wheel. But don't worry. It's not as difficult, as you might think.
- Get everyone and everything out of the car to reduce its weight and get out the spare wheel. All the tools you'll need should be provided with your car. See your vehicle handbook for what they are and where they are.
- Remove the hubcap from the problem wheel if you have one. This usually just prises off.
- Then, using the wheel brace, one of the tools from your car, loosen the wheel nuts by half a turn. Use your body weight on the wheel brace to get them moving if they're stiff.
- Place your car's jack under the lifting point that's nearest the wheel you are working on. (Your vehicle handbook will tell you where this is.) Do NOT put the jack anywhere else as it may collapse. Now you're ready to jack up your car.
- As the car starts to rise off the ground, push your spare under the body to act as a safety cushion - just in case it accidentally slips off the jack. This can happen even on a level surface so NEVER get under the vehicle when changing a tyre. Once the wheel is clear of the road, unscrew the nuts in diagonal pairs and remove them to a safe place so you don't lose them.
- Remove the wheel and place it flat under the car. As you do, take out the spare and put it in the original wheel's place. And re-fit the wheel nuts in a reverse process of how you took them off. Tighten to finger-tight only.
- Lower the jack again until the replaced wheel just touches the road. Then, using the wheel brace again, lightly tighten the wheel nuts. Remove the punctured wheel from under the car and finish lowering the vehicle. Finally, remove your jack and fully tighten wheel nuts.
Congratulations! You've done it. Put your tools and damaged wheel away again and re-fit your hubcap.
DON'T FORGET - As soon as you're able to, get your damaged wheel fixed - so you have a new spare ready and waiting just in case of another problem arises in the future. Drop into any of our HiQ centres and we will be able to help.