A puncture is one of the most common causes of car breakdown. Nearly everybody will get a flat tyre at some point, so knowing how to replace a car tyre is an essential skill. Of course, if you get a flat you could always call your breakdown service. However, by the time it takes a breakdown service to reach you, you could already be on your way if you do it yourself.
Jacking the car
When you have a flat tyre, you need to jack up the car to lift the wheel off the ground. However before you do this, it is a good idea to loosen the wheel nuts as it is much more difficult when the car is raised. If you have a hubcap, this needs to be removed, after which just undo the nuts slightly using a wheel spanner, which is normally kept with the jack.
Next, lift up the car. This is not as hard as it sounds. Most cars will have a manual jack in the boot, which won’t take much effort to raise the car. However, you can of course use a hydraulic pump. These are readily available from such companies as SGS-Engineering; you can find them here at www.sgs-engineering.com. When using a jack, it is important to use only the jacking points underneath the car, which are thickened areas of the chassis that can support the weight and will prevent the jack from damaging the car.
Changing the wheel
Once the car is raised, removed the wheel nuts completely and take off the wheel. To prevent damage to the brake callipers if the car should happen to fall, place the wheel flat underneath the wheel arch. Next, take out your spare. A lot of cars these days have what is known as space-saving spares. These are not proper tyres and are designed to be used temporarily. If you do have space saver, it is important not to drive too far or too fast on them as they have less grip and traction than regular tyres.
Place the spare or space saver on the wheel, and then do up the nuts. Next, lower the car back down again. Once the car is back on the ground, it is important to tighten the wheel nuts, as this is not always possible when the wheel is in the air. The wheel is now replaced. However, when you drive off, listen out for any odd noises, as this may indicate the wheel is not on properly and will need to be re-seated.
Image Credit: Sint Smeding