How to change a tyre
Posted by: Cal on 5/08/2013
Many people go through much of their life never having to change a flat car tyre, and then boom - they're on a remote road by themselves and all of a sudden disaster strikes. So maybe you can call for roadside assistance but what if your mobile phone is out of reception, credit, or battery? When push comes to shove, it's always good to know how to change a tyre yourself in case that worst case scenario comes to life.
First of all, make sure your car is in a safe place before you attempt changing a tyre - for example, do not leave it in the middle of the road. Turn on your hazards and pull over onto a flat surface as far as you can off the road. Park and make sure your handbrake is on. If you can, head to the wheel on the opposite side of your car to the flat tyre and put a chunk or wood or brick beneath it - this is an extra safety measure for what you'll be doing in a minute.
Now you'll need to jack up your car. Of course, to do this you'll have to have a jack and a wheel brace handy in your vehicle along with your spare tyre - these are tools you should keep in your car boot at all times in case this unfortunate situation strikes! Make sure your car is on a hard surface, and under your car there will be some grooves where you can place the jack. When everything is in its right spot, turn the handle and some weight will slowly come off your tyre.
Next you're going to need to grab your wheel brace and use this to loosen the nuts off the wheel. Once they're loose enough, you can remove these by hand. Now you're ready to remove the wheel from the car - slowly lift it off the car and make sure it's off the road somewhere safe where it won't get in the way.
Now it's time to get your spare ready. Line it back up with the wheel's parts and lift it back onto the car. Then grab your wheel nuts and tighten them by hand.
With this done, you can use the jack to lower your car back down firmly on the ground. Remove the jack and then use the wheel brace to firmly tighten the nuts which you just put on by hand. Go as tight as you can get them!
Voila! You have changed your tyre. Pack your flat tyre securely somewhere in your vehicle and drive carefully to help as soon as you can. Spare tyres aren't designed to drive in normal conditions - they're just to help you out until you can get to your destination to replace it - so be incredibly cautious and only drive on it for as long as you have to.
Remember to make sure you always keep these tools in your car - and know how to use them. It's also important to make sure every now and again that your spare is in good condition as tyre safety is essential - for example, does it have enough air in it?
Always remember that safety comes first when changing a tyre, so make sure all equipment is well secured and that you're in a safe place. You may even want to practice how to change a tyre at home first before you head out on a long drive. It's good for that extra peace of mind and to know that you really can do it - just in case.