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How to change a flat tyre

This article will hopefully explain how to change a flat tyre or even one that is punctured, if it hasn’t happened already it is better to be safe and know how to do it beforehand. The alternative is to wait for a recovery vehicle or a mobile tyre fitting service whilst you sit, stranded, in the cold.

People often look at changing car tyres as a big task but that isn’t always the case, however, it does require a few ‘bits and bobs’. If you are unfamiliar with a few terms mentioned in the article please take a look at our tyre glossary page.

Equipment needed to change a tyre

  • A spare tyre, lying flat so it can’t roll away
  • A car jack
  • Wheel brace
  • A flat screwdriver
  • Gloves

Safety equipment and awareness

In terms of safety equipment it can be a good idea to have a torch, a reflective jacket, a ‘working’ triangle, and a set of cones. Try not to block the road like a random set of builders though! If you are on a motorway or busy road park to the side as much as possible to ensure you don’t get hit by a passing vehicle, and if you are in the dark turn your hazard lights on.

It is imperative you find a flat, level hard surface otherwise your car may move or even collapse off the car jack – this is not good even if you don’t trap your arm under the vehicle. Ensure the handbrake is up and the car is in gear, this will reduce the chance of a car moving.

Step 1 – untighten any bolts or nuts

Depending on the car manufacturer and tyre, you may need to take off the wheel cover first. Either way when the nuts are exposed start to un-tighten them with the wheel brace. Importantly, you only want to make them loose so you can take them off easily once the car is jacked up.

Step 2 – jack the car up

You will need to locate the main beam either behind the front wheel or infront of the rear wheels which provides the spot for the jack to be placed onto. Once you place the jack on the level surface, start to jack the car up to a sensible height i.e. around an inch to take the wheel off and put the spare on.

Step 3 – remove and replace the tyre

Remove the nuts (place in safe place) then remove the tyre straight from the bolts (again place in safe place). Take the spare tyre (obviously you have made sure to check it is in good condition and meets the legal requirements) and place it straight onto the bolts. Start to place the nuts back on and tighten them just as you did in step 1.

Step 4 – tighten up and clean up

Release or un-wind the jack and remove it from under the car. Now that the tyre is safely on, start to tighten each nut (try to tighten by opposites as it ensures the tyre is placed on properly and flat on the surface). Place the other tyre from where you took the spare and pack up any tools or equipment used.

Not confident of remembering this tyre information during blizzard conditions on the M60? Practice it on your driveway. If you do ever forget or feel things are a little unsafe it is best to call a tyre specilist.