What you need to change a flat tyre
- Lug Wrench
- Spare Tyre / Space Saver
- Vehicle Owner’s Manual
- Light Source
Full guide on how to change a tyre
Pull over in a safe place
If you’re driving and you suspect one or more of your tyres may be flat look for a suitable place to pull over. Ideally you want to look for somewhere with a bit of room where you have the space to change your tyre, however that isn’t always possible. Do make sure you choose somewhere that isn’t on a bend though and is ideally as level as possible.
Hazards, handbrake & in gear
When you realise your tyre is flat activate your hazard lights to signal to other road users that your car will be slowing down. If once you’ve pulled over your vehicle remains on a road then leave your hazards on to avoid an accident. Apply your handbrake to ensure your car is completely still and put it in gear/park to stop it rolling should the handbrake fail. You also want to consider putting wheel wedges in front or behind the wheel to stop it from rolling.
Remove the wheel cover or hubcap
Not every car has these so if yours doesn’t just skip ahead to the next step.
Remove the wheel nuts
Whilst your car is still on the ground, using the wheel wrench loosen the wheel nuts, don’t remove them just yet though.
Jack your car up
Consult your car manual to locate the jacking point if you don’t already know its location. Place the jack underneath your jacking point and raise your car slowly.
Remove the wheel nuts
Now you can remove the wheel nuts and bolts and slowly pull the wheel towards you to remove the flat tyre. Once you have it off set it on its side to ensure it doesn’t roll away.
Mount the spare tyre
It’s recommended to have a spare tyre, but if it’s an emergency you may be using a space safer. Either way line the wheel up and push gently until the bolts show through the rim.
Screw the nuts on by hand
Remember turn right to tighten.
Lower the vehicle & tighten nuts fully
Slowly lower the car so that the wheel is on the ground but so that your car is still partially supported by the jack. Now use your wrench and your body weight to tighten the nuts until they feel snug, don’t be afraid to stand on the wrench to ensure they are nice and tight.
Lower the car completely & remove the jack
Now you’re happy the new wheel isn’t going anywhere, you can lower the car completely and remove the jack.
Refit the hubcaps & covers
Now you can refit the hubcaps and any wheel covers you removed earlier.
Double check there’s enough pressure in your spare tyre
Before driving away check that the spare tyre is inflated to the recommended amount, most tyres say on them what they’re recommended psi is.
Get the flat tyre repaired
You’re good to go. Now it’s time to take that flat tyre to a technician for repair.
How long to tyres last?
The length of time a car tyre lasts depends on the mileage you do, the road conditions, how well you look after them and the quality of the tyre. If you are driving about 15,000 miles a year, you can expect to see the tyres thread wear out in about 3 – 4 years. However, if you don’t drive your car often, the rubber compound may become worn before the tyre tread wears out.
Are expensive tyres worth it?
You might be wondering whether it’s worth paying more for expensive tyres. The general consensus by tyre experts is that premium brands last longer, wear slower and handle better. We recommend looking at unbiased tyre reviews. Remember you want to strike a happy medium between price, durability and grip. Don’t ever compromise on your safety do safe a few quid.
Do you need winter tyres in the UK?
The AA recommends all four tyres should have at least 3mm of tread for the winter. In fact, it has been suggested that driving at anything under 7 degrees Celsius and the winter tyres (also called cold weather tyres) are less prone to skidding and allow your vehicle to stop quicker. Having a set of tyres for the winter and summer can be expensive though, as discussed above tyres aren’t always cheap. Keep in mind, however, that both sets of tyres should last longer when used only partially throughout the year.
How to check your tyre pressure?
Checking your tyre pressure is really easy and you can do it from home in just a few simple steps. Tyre pressure is different for each vehicle and you can check your tyre pressure in your handbook. Most cars also have a sticker within the bodywork that shows your optimum tyre pressure.
You can either check your tyre pressure using a pressure gauge at home or you can check your tyre pressure at many local fuel stations across the UK. You can also fill your tyres at a garage or fuel station for a small fee.
Check tyre pressure in 7 easy steps:
1. Check your tyre pressure when tyres are cool
2. Put your handbrake on and switch the ignition off
3. Unscrew your dust caps and keep them safe
4. Press the tyre pressure gauge into the valve evenly and straight down for an accurate reading. You should hear a little hiss of air.
5. Check the reading on the gauge and if it falls outside the recommended pressure for your tyre, you will either need to deflate or inflate accordingly.
6. You should check all 4 tyres and your spare tyre if you have one.
7. Remember to put all the dust caps back on after checking
How do I inflate my tyres?
If you’ve checked your tyre pressure and find that you need to inflate your tyres, you can either do it at home or at a local garage. You can inflate your tyres at home by using a portable tyre inflator or you can use a bike pump. Alternatively, many petrol stations across the UK have an air pressure compressor which you can use for a small fee.
How do I deflate my tyres?
If your tyres are overinflated, you can deflate them easily at home. Remove the cap and press the small pin in the middle with something such as a flat head screwdriver. The tyre will then start releasing air. Check the tyre pressure and repeat the process until the tyre pressure is at its recommended pressure. Remember to put the caps back on when finished.
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