Getting a flat tyre when you’re out on the road can make you feel truly helpless. You may have a fantastic set of wheels, plenty of petrol in your tank and the best … but if you don’t know how to change a tyre it’s a real problem.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Make sure the car is secure and won’t roll
Never change a tyre on a hill or an incline. The car should be on a flat surface with the handbrake up. Put blocks of wood behind the wheels as an extra precaution.
2. Pry off the wheel cover with a screwdriver
You should keep a small toolkit inside your boot for just this kind of emergency. Use an action like you’re taking the lid off a can of paint.
3. Loosen the lug nuts
Use a wrench from your toolkit to loosen (not remove) the lug nuts.
4. Jack the car up off the ground
Put the jack under the edge of the car and follow the instructions in your owner’s manual: you should get the flat to a level of about 15 cm above the ground.
5. Remove the flat tyre
Unscrew the lug nuts and put them in a safe place (like inside the wheel cover). Gently but firmly pull the wheel towards you until it slides off the wheel bolts.
6. Place the spare tyre on the wheel bolts and replace the lug nuts
Wheels are very heavy, so if you’re stranded all alone you may have some trouble. Once the wheel is back in place, tighten the lug nuts by hand.
7. Lower the jack and tighten the lug nuts
Lower the jack according to your owner’s manual and tighten the lug nuts very securely using a wrench.
8. Replace the wheel cover
Put the wheel cover in place and knock it into position with the heel of your hand. Never use a hammer as this can dent and damage your wheel cover.
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