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Change A Car Tyre

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Get back on the road again after a flat tyre with this guide on how to change a flat car tyre.

Change A Car Tyre

Punctures always seem to pick the worst moment to happen. If your car gets a puncture and you're away from home, the first priority is to get it - and you - to a safe place to change the car tyre.

Checklist

What you'll need:

  • Spare wheel with inflated tyre
  • Wheel brace, Tyre jack
  • Screwdriver
  • Clean rag
  • Warning triangle
  • Torch (if dark)

Step 1 - Be Safe

Drive very slowly on the punctured tyre until out of danger. Move your car to a safe spot (NOT a motorway hard shoulder), switch on hazard warning lights, turn off the engine and apply the handbrake. Select reverse gear if your car is manual; if it's automatic, select 'park'. Place a warning triangle 50m behind the car if possible.

Step 2 - Preparation

Get everyone out of your vehicle and safely away from the road. Remove luggage from your boot if heavy or if it's obstructing access to the spare wheel. Check that the spare tyre feels inflated, and that the tyre jack and wheel brace are ok to use. Remove the spare wheel and tools from your car. Look at your vehicle handbook or View All Haynes Manuals for detailed instructions.

Step 3 - Getting Started

Remove the plastic wheel trim (if fitted) by prising it off. Using the wheel brace, loosen the nuts on the wheel you're changing by half a turn in an anti-clockwise direction. If they're stiff, use your body weight on the wheel brace to shift them.

Step 4 - Jacking Up the Car

Use the tyre jack to raise the wheel. See your vehicle handbook or Haynes manual for the correct lifting point on your car. DO NOT jack up your car using any other point - it may collapse! Once the car body is raised slightly (but before the wheel you are raising is off the ground) push the spare wheel under the body to act as a safety cushion if your car slips.

Step 5 - Removing the Wheel

Keep raising your car. Once the wheel is just clear of the road, unscrew the wheel nuts in diagonal pairs and remove. Place them together in a pocket or cup so you don't lose them.
Remove the wheel carefully, as it will be heavy and dirty!

Step 6 - Fitting the Spare

Fit the spare wheel ensuring it's the correct way round. Fit the wheel nuts in diagonal pairs and turn until finger-tight. Place the wheel flat under the raised sill of the car as a safety cushion again. Warning: a car can easily slip off the jack, even on a level surface. Never get under your vehicle while only the jack is supporting it!

Step 7 - Lowering the Car

Using the jack, lower your car until the tyre of the replaced wheel just touches the road. Then, using the wheel brace, lightly tighten the wheel nuts. Remove the punctured wheel from underneath the car. Finish lowering your vehicle and then remove the jack.

Step 8 - Finishing Off

Fully tighten the wheel nuts using the wheel brace.
Put your tools and damaged wheel in your boot. Refit the plastic wheel trim.

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