Getting a flat tyre is never fun and can happen at the worst of times. But, if you know how to change one, you can get yourself back on the road fairly quickly.
Before you start
Ensure you have parked the car safely before getting out to change a tyre.
Apply the handbrake, turn on the hazard lights and have all passengers exit the vehicle.
The equipment you’ll need
- Wrench – to remove the wheel nuts
- Jack – to elevate the car
- Wheel chock – to stop the car rolling when jacked up (bricks can also be used)
- Wheel nut key – if locking nuts are fitted
- Car handbook – for reference
Other items that may be useful to carry include: torch, gloves, reflective jacket and warning triangles.
How to change a flat tyre
Once the car is safely parked, remove the spare wheel and all necessary tools from the boot.
If you have a wheel chock, position it on the opposite wheel to the one with a puncture to prevent the car from rolling.
For example, if your right-rear tyre has a puncture, put a chock behind the left-front wheel.
Bricks or large rocks can also be used if have a dedicated chock.
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Begin loosening the wheel nuts as it’s easier to do while the vehicle is still on the ground.
Some cars may have a plastic wheel trim which needs to be removed first.
Using the wheel wrench, turn the nuts anti-clockwise to loosen to the point where they can be turned by hand – but don’t remove them completely.
Jack the car up using the dedicated jacking point nearest to the punctured wheel.
Check your vehicle’s handbook to see where these points are.
Elevate the car slowly until the flat tyre is 10-15cm off the ground.
You can now fully unscrew the wheel nuts and remove the tyre from the car.
The spare tyre can then be placed on the protruding hub bolts, screwing the wheel nuts on by hand.
Lower the car with the jack until the wheel comes into contact with the ground.
Use the wrench to fully tighten the wheel nuts, then finish lowering the car and remove the jack.
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Give the wheel nuts a final check for tightness before storing the tools and the old wheel in the boot.
If you have a tyre pressure gauge, you can use it to check the spare wheel is fully inflated.
It’s important to visit a garage or dealer at the first opportunity to get the punctured wheel replaced or repaired.
A space-saver wheel found in your boot is only intended for emergencies.
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