Picture this scenario… You’re driving at night, and you hear a flapping sound coming from your car and discover that you have a flat tyre. Do you call a friend, your parent, or do you tap into your roadside assistance and call your car insurance company or do you fix it yourself?
Choosing the DIY route would probably get the job done faster depending on how much of an expert are you when it comes to changing a tyre?
If you’ve never changed a tyre before, there’s nothing to be worried or embarrassed about. Having the correct tools and your car’s manual are the first steps to fixing your tyre in no time.
If you’re still clueless or are not particularly confident about changing a tyre, here are a few tips to help you:
Have the following common tools with you:
- A spare tyre that’s properly inflated
- A Jack
- A pair of gloves
- A Lug wrench
- Your car’s manual
- A few bricks or wheel wedges
Read more: Steps on how to use a hammer (the right way)
Follow these steps to change a tyre:
1. Prep your car. Ensure nobody is in your car and if you have a manual car, make sure your handbrake is up. If your car is automatic, make sure it is in ‘park.’
2. Keep your car steady. If you have to pull over on the side of the road, do so away from traffic and turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers so that they can overtake you if need be. Make sure your car is parked on flat ground. Place wheel wedges or bricks securely on either side of the tyres that don’t need to be changed so the car does not move while you are busy.
3. Get your spare tyre ready and find the perfect point to lift your car, preferably under the frame. Make sure you place the jack on the metal portion of the frame of your car.
4. You can now raise your jack to support your flat wheel. Be sure to only support your wheel and not lift it.
5. Remove your hubcap and loosen the nuts with your wrench. Do this in an anti-clockwise movement. If you struggle to loosen them, apply pressure to the wrench using your foot.
6. Once the nuts are loosened, place your jack underneath the jacking point of your vehicle and lift your car. Make sure you lift it high enough to remove your flat tyre and replace it with your spare tyre. Do this slowly so that if you discover any instability while lifting your car, you are able to lower the jack and fix the problem before continuing.
7. Remove the rest of the nuts. Again, remember to continue doing so in an anti-clockwise fashion.
8. You’ll now be able to remove the tyre. Remove your faulty tyre and place it underneath the car so if your jack fails, your car will fall on the flat tyre. This will hopefully prevent you from any injury.
9. Mount your spare tyre. Carefully place your new tyre on the hub, paying special attention to align the rim with the tyre bolts correctly. To test this, make sure you push the tyre back as far as it can possibly go and compare it to the other tyres for reference.
10. Put on the lug nuts and tighten them. Do this, one at a time, by hand. When you’re done, tighten them even further with your wrench.
11. Lower your car slightly. Repeat the tightening process.
12. Lower your car completely. Remove the jack and finish the tightening process. Now you’re good to go!
Read more: 13 essential tips to make your life easier
While fixing a flat may prompt you to replace one of your tyres, knowing when to change all your tyres due to wear is important too. Having an incorrect tyre tread can result in hefty fines.
Changing a tyre is as easy as applying for an online car insurance quote. All these steps may seem overwhelming at first, but remember that practice makes perfect. Don’t wait for your tyre to be replaced. Practice at home and you’ll soon discover that you’re able to change a tyre with your eyes closed!