If you own a car there is always the possibility that you could get a flat tyre, and as Murphy's Law would have it you'll get a flat tyre at the worst possible time, when you least expect it. Should you find yourself in this situation we've created a step by step video
and guide below which outlines what you should do and how to safely change your wheel if you get a flat tyre.
In most cases, you should find the tools you need in your boot along with the spare wheel. It's also a good idea to have a pair of gloves, a high-vis vest and warning triangle for your own safety.
What you'll need;
- A car jack
- A wheel brace
- A locking wheel nut key if you have alloys
- Safety first
- If you get a flat tyre, try and park your car as far away as possible from the flow of traffic. Make sure everyone is out of the car. Put the handbrake on and make sure the car is left in gear. Put on a high-vis vest and use your warning triangle and hazard lights to alert other drivers.
- Loosen the wheel nuts
- If you have hub caps / wheel trims on your wheels you will need to remove these first. Place the wheel brace on the wheel nuts and apply a downward pressure in an anti-clockwise direction to loosen the nuts. Loosen each of the wheel nuts by a half turn or so. The wheel nuts will be extremely tight, so you may need to stand on the wheel brace for additional pressure. If you must do this it's a good idea to hold onto the roof of the car for balance. Use extra caution in wet conditions as the wheel brace may be slippery.
- Jack up the car
- Firstly you need to find the jacking point on your car, you'll find this information in your car users manual. Some cars may have an arrow to indicate the jacking point on the sill. To raise the car, place the jack on the ground at the jacking point under the sill and turn the jack in a clock-wise direction. You will need to raise the car high enough off the ground to make sure you can remove the punctured tyre and also to put on the replacement tyre.
- Remove the wheel
- now you can complete loosening the wheel nuts and remove the wheel. The wheel may come off easily but if it needs some extra encouragement to get it off, make sure you are in a balanced position and you give the wheel a nudge on one of the sides to help it off.
- Put on the replacement wheel
- get your replacement wheel from the boot and line up the centre of the wheel with the centre of the hub and lift it into place. Whilst keeping gentle pressure on the wheel, rotate it so that the holes for the wheel nuts line up. Put the wheel nuts back in and tighten them finger tight in a diagonal pattern (this helps ensure the wheel is on straight and seated flush with the hub). Once this is done you can take the wheel brace and tighten further, however you will not tighten them completely until the car has been lowered.
- Lower the car
- Turn the handle on the jack in an anti-clockwise direction to lower the car. Once it is completely lowered and you have removed the jack you can finish tightening the wheel nuts with the wheel brace.
- Get to a garage
- Whether your replacement tyre is a space saver or a normal tyre you should get to a garage as soon as possible to either check the torque settings on the wheel or get a new tyre fitted. If using a space saver please take note of the speed restrictions, which is generally 80kpm. These wheels are not designed for long distances.
- If you have never changed a tyre before it's a good idea to give it a trial run someday at home. This way you can make sure you have all the tools and equipment you require for the job.
- Always remember your safety, make sure you can be seen by other passing motorists and have an emergency kit in the boot.
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