Not every driver is a trained mechanic, but there are some skills every driver should learn so they are prepared for common difficulties they may face whilst driving. One of these skills is knowing how to change a tyre. If you don’t know though, don’t panic! Changing a tyre is easy enough to do and everyone should have a general idea of what’s involved:
First off, you’re going to have to secure your car on a flat surface, for example a road. You should never change a tyre on an inline or hill; always seek a flat surface, even if it means driving on a flat tyre. Make sure though that you have pulled over as far from traffic as you can before you turn on your hazard lights, to avoid causing an accident. Then put your car into first gear and apply the hand brake. It is important that your car is always secure when you are changing a tyre so that it won’t roll away.
Once you have secured your car, you’ll be required to elevate your vehicle in the air so that it is supported. You can do this using many different methods; however the most effective way is by using a jack. This is usually found in the boot of a car underneath the spare tyre. Then place the jack under the frame near the tyre that needs replacing; it needs to be in contact with the metal part. However, on some modern cars, you’ll find that there is a small notch where the jack is intended to go.
As soon as you’ve raised the jack and checked to see if it is secure and sitting comfortably, you’ll be expected to pry off the wheel cover. You can use a screw driver to achieve this; just insert the point of the tool where the edge of the cover meets the wheel and apply a little leverage. The cap should then pop off. You might have to do this in a couple of places though, as if you were prying the lid off a can of paint.
Then with a wrench, loosen the nuts by turning them anti-clockwise, but don’t take them off completely, just get them loose enough to remove by hand. A hollow pipe and a cross-shaft wrench can loosen the tightest lug nuts. Then pump the jack so that the wheel is off the ground enough to be able to remove the wheel. As you do this, keep checking that the jack and car are stable.
Now take the lug nuts completely off by hand and put them somewhere safe, so that you don’t lose them – inside the wheel cover or hub cap works well. Grasp the flat tyre with both hands and pull it straight towards you. As you pull the flat tyre off it should slide along the bolts until you find yourself supporting its full weight. After, you have rolled the flat tyre to the rear of the vehicle out of the way place the spare tyre on the hub and reattach the nuts. Because tyres are heavy, you may have a little trouble lifting the spare tyre into place – especially if you’re not accustomed to lifting heavy things. Then tighten the nuts by hand, before using a wrench to fully tighten them. Lower the car and give the nuts another tighten to ensure that they are secured. This is vital as you don’t want your new tyre to roll off as you are driving along.
Once you have replaced the wheel and hub cap, the damaged tyre can be placed in your boot and you should be ready to go!
Here at the Bodyshop, we specialise in car body work repairs in Ilford and the surrounding area, so if your car needs a little TLC, we’re here for you! For more information, do not hesitate to pay us a visit or by calling 020 8500 9228 to speak to a member of our team.