How To Change A Tyre On The Side Of The Road

Firstly, this guide speaks specifically on how to change a tyre where a spare tyre is available. If you don’t have a spare or if your spare tyre is damaged, your car is not considered to be roadworthy. All reputable used car dealers will ensure that you have a spare tyre, wheel spanner, and jack available in your car on purchase. You should also regularly check the quality of your spare tyre to ensure it doesn’t go flat. 

Changing a tyre on the side of the road is a daunting experience, and all the more frightening if you don’t know how. Leave your hazard lights on, take a deep breath, and get yourself out of harm’s way, then proceed with Auto Pedigree’s step-by-step guide on how to change a tyre. 

To begin, you will need: 

  • Your car handbook 
  • A wheel spanner or wrench to remove the nuts easily
  • A wheel nut key if the nuts are locked  
  • A jack to raise the vehicle off the ground 
  • A wheel chock or bricks to keep the car in place and prevent it from rolling 

How To Change A Tyre - Step One 

Slowly drive your car to the side of the road into the emergency lane or a safe alcove off the road. Turn your ignition off. Lift the handbrake, ensure that all passengers have exited the vehicle safely and gather all of the necessary tools mentioned above. 

Secure Your Vehicle - Step Two 

To keep your car from rolling away while jacked up, get the wheel chocks or bricks behind each wheel. If you have enough, position a chock or brick behind each wheel. If not, position one behind the wheel opposite the damaged one. This is not always necessary if you know that your handbrake will hold. It is an extra precuation. 

How To Loosen Your Wheel Nuts - Step Three 

This next step should take place before jacking the car up while it is still on the ground. You need the weight of the car to hold the tyres in place as your wheel nuts might be quite tight. Grab the wrench and loosen the nuts on the tyre that needs changing. Loosen them just until they can be turned by hand with ease, but do not remove them just yet. 

How To Use A Wheel Jack - Step Four 

Different cars have different jacks. Make sure you familiarise yourself with yours when you buy your car. If you buy from a used car dealer, get them to show you the jack before you purchase. Place the jack at the side of the car that is near the damaged tyre with a piece of wood (if possible) underneath the jack to help it remain stable. With the help of your trusty car handbook, find the jacking points and safely jack the vehicle up and off the ground. Raise the car about 15cm off the ground. 

How To Remove A Flat Tyre - Step Five 

Remove the loosened nuts and gently pull the tyre off. Then, mount the spare tyre in place of the damaged tyre by sliding it onto the projecting bolts. Tighten the wheel nuts as much as possible by hand. You will tighten them more once the weight of the car is holding the tyre in place.

How To Change A Tyre - Step Six 

Lower the car, but not all the way. With the spare tyre just touching the ground, use the wrench to fully tighten the wheel nuts. Then, lower the car the rest of the way onto the ground and remove the jack. You can now put all of your equipment away and proceed to checking your spare tyre pressure. You may have to take your car to a garage for this so drive slowly until it is at the correct and safe tyre pressure. 

Replace Your Spare Tyre - Step Seven 

Lastly, get your damaged tyre repaired or replaced as soon as possible so that you have a spare tyre on hand for when you need it. 

Learning how to change a tyre is and important life skill for anyone on the road, although very many people have never been taught how. We hope this blog has offered you some guidance in learning how to change a tyre.