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How to change a tyre safely

Before you can safely change a car tyre you need to complete some preparations.

What Equipment do you need? 

You will need: 

  • The spare wheel
  • Your vehicle’s manual 
  • A car jack 
  • A wrench 
  • A wheel chock 

You will also require the right safety equipment including a warning triangle to let other drivers know that you are stationary, as well as a reflective vest or jacket so they can see you. 

Preparation before changing a Tyre

Once you have all the equipment you need in place it's time to make preparations to change your tyre. Start by putting your hazard lights on and applying the handbrake. Make sure you ask any passengers in the car to leave whilst you’re changing a tyre.

Next, make sure you have all the tools you need with you, and place the chocks against the wheels so they cannot move while you are using the jack. Now you are ready to change your tyre.

Man fitting wheel nut

How to change a car tyre safely if you are on the side of the road 

The location in which you’re able to change your tyre is very important, as the safety of yourself and others is the most important element here. It isn’t possible to change a tyre safely on the side of a road, or motorway, safely because it requires a significant amount of space, which you won’t get at the side of the road. With this in mind, if you do breakdown at the side of a road, calling a breakdown service is the safest option.

Step 1: Partially release the wheel nuts while the car is still on the ground. Loosen the wheel nuts so they can be turned by hand, but don’t remove them completely.

Step 2: Raise the car off the ground with your jack. Your goal is to lift your vehicle around 10-15cm off the ground. Check your car’s manual for jacking points. Then position the jack at the side of the car, close to the wheel with a problem.

Step 3: Free the flat tyre. Once your car is safely on the jack you can continue to release the nuts on the tyre until they can be removed. You will then be able to pull the tyre off of its mounting. Be sure to place it down in a safe spot and fully flat.

Step 4: Install the spare wheel. Install the spare by aligning the gaps in the wheel with the hub bolts. You may need assistance to do this as spare tyres are heavy.

Step 5: Place the wheel nuts over the bolts and hand-tighten them.

Step 6: Drop the car and completely tighten the bolts. Use the jack to lower the car some of the way down, so your spare tyre now meets the ground. Tighten up the wheel nuts fully with a wrench

Step 7: Return the car to the ground. Use the jack to fully lower your car to the ground. Then remove the jack, give the wheel nuts a final check.

Step 8: Check the spare tyre pressure and get your old tyre fixed. DIY on-site if you have your gauge or drive to the closest petrol station and use theirs to make sure your new tyre is fully inflated. Then take your punctured tyre to the garage to get it repaired so you have a spare for the next time you are in need.

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