Getting a flat tyre can happen to anyone, anywhere and probably at the most inconvenient time. That’s why knowing how to change a tyre is such an important skill to have even if you never ever end up actually using it.
You can reduce the likelihood of getting a flat tyre by looking after your tyres and also ensure they are at the correct pressure.
Before you start, make sure you are in a safe place and have the correct tools to carry out the task. IN the article below, you will find steps to follow and tips to keep in mind when changing a tyre.
If you do not feel confident, or do not have the right tools to change a tyre at home, ClickMechanic can help with tyre fittings.
What tools and equipment do I need to change a tyre?
Before you get started, make sure you have the right tools:
- Spare wheel / tyre – an appropriate, inflated tyre
- Wrench – for the wheel nuts or bolts
- A car jack – for lifting the vehicle
- Wheel chocks – advisable but in some circumstances you could use bricks or heavy wood to keep the vehicle from rolling while you change the tyre
- Locking wheel nut key – some cars have extra nuts for security which needs a key to undo them
- Car handbook – for vehicle-specific instructions
Step by step guide to changing a tyre
It’s also recommended to work with gloves so as to prevent coming in contact with any sharp objects and also helps with grip.
- Find a safe space
It’s important to make sure you’re in a safe space before you get started especially if you get a flat tyre while on the road. Switch off the engine, put the handbrake on and put the vehicle into first gear (in park if it’s an automatic car).Use wheel chocks on the front and back of the wheel which is diagonally opposite the tyre that needs replacing to help prevent the car from rolling.
- Loosen the wheel nuts
Before using the jack to lift the vehicle, it is better to loosen the wheel nuts while the flat tyre is still in contact with the ground.Some cars are fitted with locking nuts so you’ll need a key to undo the wheel nuts. The key is usually with the spare wheel but you can check the vehicle handbook for more information if you cannot find the key. Learn more about locking wheel nuts here.
Use the wrench to loosen the nuts by turning in an anti-clockwise direction and stop once you have loosened them slightly.
If you find that the wheel nuts are ‘stuck’ or not loosening, you may have to use your feet or a hammer to pound on the lug of the wrench. Another option could be spraying some WD-40 if you have it handy.
- Using the jack
Refer to the vehicle handbook to find the best placement for the jack on your vehicle. This is different with each car so make sure you find the optimum point to avoid any damage to the vehicle.Once you position it carefully on the ground you can start winding it until the wheel is off the ground. Make sure you leave enough space between the ground and the bottom tip of the tyre so the new fully inflated tyre can be fitted properly.
- Removing the tyre
Now you are ready to fully loosen the wheel nuts. Carefully pull the tyre towards you and then lift it. Make sure you keep the wheel nuts safely as you’ll need them to fit the spare tyre.
- Replacing with the spare tyre
Take the spare wheel and line it up with the bolts. Use the wheel nuts to secure the spare tyre to the wheel – this time you need to turn them clockwise. Remember, righty tighty, lefty loosey!Once it is secure, proceed to lower the vehicle with the car jack.
- Finishing touches
Only once the tyre touches the ground, tighten the wheel nuts with your wrench again as tight as they will go or until they no longer budge. If you have a tyre pressure gauge check the tyre pressure of the spare wheel. If not, once you’re on the road you can get it checked at the closest petrol station too.Once done, keep the old tyre in the boot and pack all the tools and equipment before getting back on the road.
- Find a safe space
After you’ve successfully changed your tyre, go to a mechanic or garage to ensure the wheel nuts are tightened and it is secured properly. As spare tyres are often a different size from the originally fitted tyre (usually compacts, and these are unlikely to be fitted to an alloy wheel), it is advisable getting it replaced with the right-sized wheel and tyre as soon as possible.
You will need to book tyre fitting to get a new tyre fitted to the wheel with the flat. Once refitted to the car the replacement spare wheel can go back into the boot, so you will have a spare tyre in your car again.
How long does it take to change a tyre?
The time to change a tyre can differ depending on how much practice you’ve had or how many times you’ve done it before. It should take an average of 30 mins per tyre / wheel.