Team AckoJul 21, 2021
From the title of this article, you would have guessed that steps about how to change a car tyre are being discussed here. If you do not drive frequently, you may feel that the skill required to change a tyre is not necessary for you, let the mechanic handle it. If your partner drives the car more often, you may think it’s their job to change the tyre. The “flat-tyre” situation, however, can strike anyone, anytime irrespective of you driving the car just around the corner or on a long journey into the ghats!
Changing a tyre is not as difficult as it has been perceived. Nor does it require the strength of a bodybuilder to get the job done (unless you are driving a large truck). This is a learned skill and it can be acquired by anyone. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can change the tyre of your car without much fuss:
Certain tools are provided along with the car while other tools that will make it very easy for you to change a tyre, are not available in the tool kit. You need to buy such things in advance to smoothly change the tyre. Here are all the tools that will make the job easy:
Car’s Owner Manual: The owner manual of every car usually comes with specifications that are useful while changing the tyre. You will find small but important details here, for example, the type of wrench that will fit the nuts and bolts of your car.
Lug Wrench: A lug wrench can be of few different types like double-sided or X-shaped, nut socket or L-shaped, etc. These are used to loosen and then tighten the lug nuts on the wheel.
Spare Tyre: To replace the flat tyre.
Jack: A jack is used to lift the vehicle by a few inches so that the tyre can be replaced easily. Numerous types of jacks are available in the market nowadays. A jack is usually provided with the vehicle itself.
A Working Flashlight: Useful when working at night or in a place with less light.
2 Small Flat Wooden Boards: Make sure to add flat wooden pieces of approximately 2×6 inches. These will be helpful to secure the jack in position.
Gloves: To protect your hands against possible cuts, keep the mud from the tyre away, and for enhanced grip.
Wheel Wedges: These will be helpful to lock other wheels in place when you are working on the flat tyre.
Raincoat: Will be helpful during rain.
Step 1: Look For A Safe Place
It is critical to get off the road in a safe manner when you realise that your car has a flat tyre. Do not swerve suddenly as it will be dangerous for you and other vehicles cruising on the road. Next, find a safe spot where you can park your car, get off, and change the tyre. Remember to park the car with ample amount of safe space between the car and the road.
Step 2: Switch The Parking Lights On
By switching the parking or hazard lights on, you are alerting other vehicles. They will notice the blinking lights from a distance and you can change the tyre safely.
Step 3: Park By Engaging The Hand-break
Park the car by pulling the hand-break to its highest position. This will ensure that the car remains locked in one place while you are applying force to change the tyre.
Step 4: Secure The Wheel Wedges
Secure the wheel wedges behind the good tyres to ensure additional safety. These are useful, especially on an inclined road.
Step 5: Remove Wheel Covers
Most of the car tyres are covered with wheel covers. These need to be removed before you can proceed to change the flat tyre. Refer to the owner’s manual to get an idea about how this is done. Note that different car models may have different settings for wheel covers.
Step 6: Loosen The Lug Nuts Halfway
The lug nuts need to be loosened only halfway before you lift the car with a jack because if you lift the car first, the tyre will keep rotating. Use the lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts. Ensure that you are using the correct sized side of the wrench.
Step 7: Secure The Jack With Wooden Boards
Locate the jacking point under your car. This is where the jack is supposed to be connected to the vehicle. Place the wooden boards under the jacking point and keep the jack on them. Next, connect the jack to the jacking point and lift the car till you see a small gap between the ground and the tyre.
Step 8: Remove The Lug Nuts Completely
Unscrew the lug nuts completely with the help of a wrench and remove all the lug nuts.
Step 9: Replace The Flat Tyre
Remove the flat-tyre from its frame and replace it with a spare tyre.
Step 10: Screw Lug Nuts And Replace Wheel Cover
This is the last step of replacing a flat-tyre. Screw the lug nuts halfway and proceed to lower the vehicle. Remove the jack and wooden boards after the tyre touches the ground firmly. Now screw the lug nuts tightly and replace the wheel cover.
Keep all the tools safely in the car and you can resume driving after checking the tyre pressure. If you do not have a tool, visit the nearest garage and get the tyre checked. The flat tyre should also be repaired as soon as possible.
Here are a few tips that will help you during tyre change:
Tip To Tighten Lug Nuts: To ensure that a lug nut is tight enough to drive a car safely, use your feet. This will add extra force to the wrench and the nut will screw in position.
Safety Tip: Place a triangle reflector a few feet from the car for additional warning to alert the passing vehicles.
Tip To Place The Jack: Modern vehicles have four jack points located near each wheel. They usually have holes, notches, or indentations for the jack that is provided with the vehicle, to fit perfectly.
A Tip About Spare Tyre: It is common for people to forget about the spare tyre unless they experience a flat-tyre situation. To avoid this, try considering that your car has five tyres instead of four. This way you will attend to the spare tyre when you visit the technician for maintenance.
Bonus Tip: Always keep a small mat or a plastic sheet in the car. This will be helpful for placing your knee while changing the tyre.
Ensure that you carry the following things with you while driving a car:
Car Tool Kit: A good car tool kit will have things like screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, assorted hex keys, tyre gauge, etc. You will require these basic tools for minor repairs.
First-aid Box: Always keep a first-aid box in your car. It should have an antiseptic solution, scissors, gauge pads, bandage and medical tape, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, etc. If possible keep a list of emergency contacts in the first-aid box as well.
Flashlight: A flashlight with working batteries is useful in the dark.
Fire Extinguisher: Always keep a portable fire extinguisher to combat emergency fires.
Energy Bar: For a quick snack in the time of need!
How much time does it take to fix a flat tyre?
A beginner would take around 30 minutes to change a flat tyre. However, this time will reduce with practice. An expert can change a flat-tyre within 15 minutes.
How to change a tyre without a jack?
This is a time-consuming process, however, it is possible to do so. Here is the process of changing a flat-tyre without a jack:
1. First, make sure that you are not parked on solid ground like concrete. You need to park the car on the ground where you can dig a hole. 2. Next, place some solid material like wooden board or bricks under the chassis to support the car when changing the tyre. 3. Remove the wheel cover and loosen the lug nuts halfway.4. Dig a small hole under the flat tyre and proceed to remove the lug nuts.5. Replace the flat-tyre and refill the hole you dug.6. Tighten the lug nuts after you ensure that the hole is fully covered.7. Replace the wheel cover and you are done.
Can a spare tyre be used for driving continuously?
No, it is not recommended to run a long mile on a spare or run-flat tyre. Some manufacturers have specially reinforced sidewalls on the spare tyre that allows you to drive until you reach a garage and get the main tyre repaired. Spare tyres are not fit for long term use.
What should I do if I notice an iron nail stuck in a tyre?
You should avoid pulling the nail out. Take the car to a mechanic and get it removed. Removing the nail may expose a puncture that needs to be repaired.
What is the difference between tyres with and without tubes?
As the name suggests, the major difference is that tubeless tyres do not come with an inflatable tube that supports the load of a car. A tubeless tyre comes with an airtight seal between the rim and the tyre body. Tyres with a tube tend to deflate faster as compared to tubeless tyres.
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