15 Dec 2017
HOW TO CHANGE A TYRE THE EASY WAY
It’s not always going to be a convenient time or place to change a tyre so here’s our easy guide and top tips on how to do it.
- If you’ve never done it before, a dry run in your own time and space is a great idea. You won’t regret it when it comes time to do it in an emergency.
- Keep a kit in your car with a torch (and spare batteries), high-vis vest and/or reflective hazard triangle, gloves to protect your hands, plastic poncho in case it’s raining, car jack (this should be in the boot and came with the car when you bought it), something to kneel on (or you could whip your car mat out), wipes to clean up afterwards, blocks of wood to stabilise the car and another thin plank for the jack to sit on.
- Read your manual and follow any specific manufacturer instructions.
- Whenever you fill your tyres up with air, top up the spare too so it’s always ready.
Changing a standard tyre…
- Pull over in as safe a location as possible and flip your hazard lights on.
- Make sure no one is inside the vehicle. Put the handbrake on and make sure the car is in park (auto) or in gear (manual).
- Block the wheels on the side not being lifted to prevent rolling.
- Take off the wheel cover or hubcap to access the wheel nuts.
- Loosen the wheel nuts with the wrench BUT DO NOT TAKE THEM RIGHT OFF JUST YET! If they’re really tight, apply a little pressure to a horizontal arm of the wheel wrench with your foot.
- Find the jacking point on your car (you will have read this in the manual) and line up the jack underneath on firm, flat ground or the plank you have in your kit (very important for safety). Slowly raise the vehicle using the jack.
- Now you can remove the nuts. Put them somewhere safe where they won’t roll away or get lost. Take off the wheel by pulling it towards you with both hands.
- Lift the spare into place. Replace and tighten all wheel nuts by hand. DON’T PUT THEM ON SUPER TIGHT JUST YET! (It might dislodge the car from the jack.)
- Slowly lower the vehicle using the jack.
- Now you can really tighten up the wheel nuts with the wrench. Again, use your foot if you need a bit of extra strength.
- Pop the hubcap or wheel cover back on.
Fitting a heavy wheel
- The only step that’s different is getting the replacement tyre on. Because it’s heavy it’s best handled by two people so we recommend calling your roadside assistance provider if you’re on your own.
- It’s all the same steps as changing a standard tyre except for when putting the new wheel on. Roll it close to the hub. Then, while one person lifts it, the other centres it. To help, because it’s heavy, try not to jack up the vehicle too high.
Changing tyres on a European car
Some models, particularly European cars, don’t have studs that come out from the hub to hang the wheel on. Instead they have centring flanges with small pins to help you to position the wheel. In this case, there’s a tool kit that includes a longer pin, which you attach and then lift the wheel onto so it lines up perfectly. It’s a little tricky though so it helps if there are two of you just like above - one to lift, the other to guide
To prevent theft, many alloy wheels have locking nuts, which won't fit a standard socket or wheel brace. If buying a car with alloys, check its wheel brace or socket matches the alloy’s locking nuts.
Once the tyre is changed the next step is to take the one with a puncture to be repaired or to get a new one entirely. That’s where EasyTyre is changing the game. We are mobile tyre fitters. You order and pay for your new tyres online then tell us where to find your car so we can come and fit them. We even recycle your old tyres for you. It couldn’t be more convenient. Click below to get started.