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Changing a Flat Tyre
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Changing a Flat Tyre

At some time, every driver will be faced with a flat tyre. Changing a tyre, although intimidating to some people, is actually pretty easy to do. Here I have my instructions for quickly and easily changing your car tyre.

There are a few essential tools you need for changing a tyre: jack, wheel stops or wedges and tyre iron or wheel brace and your vehicles owner manual. Most modern cars have tools for changing a tyre in the boot. Make sure you always have a fully inflated spare tyre ready.

Firstly, when you realise you have a flat tyre, do not brake abruptly or turn if you can help.  Slowly reduce speed and look for a level, straight stretch of road with a wide shoulder.  Never attempt to change your tyre on a narrow shoulder near oncoming traffic. Keep moving (slowly) until you find a safer spot. Park the car and put the handbrake on. Don’t forget to put on your hazard lights.

Next apply the wheel wedges: in front of or behind the tyres to ensure the vehicle doesn’t roll while you change it. If you’re changing a rear tyre, place these in front of the front tyres. If your flat tyre is at the front, put the wheel wedges behind the rear tyres. If you don’t have wheel wedges bricks or large stones will work just as well.

If your vehicle has a hubcap covering the wheel nuts, it’s easier to remove the hubcap before lifting the vehicle with the jack.  Use the flat end of your tyre iron (or the tool supplied by your manufacturer) to remove the hubcap. This will work for most vehicles. Using the tyre iron, turn the wheel nuts anti-clockwise until you break their resistance. You may have to use force. Use your foot or all your body weight if necessary. Loosen the wheel nuts about ¼ to ½ of a turn, but don’t remove them completely. Save that for when it’s time to remove your tyre from the vehicle.

The right place for the jack is usually beneath the vehicle frame alongside the tyre that’s flat. Many vehicle frames have moulded plastic on the bottom with a cleared area of exposed metal specifically for the jack. Otherwise follow your vehicles owner’s manual for the best position for the jack.  With the jack properly positioned, raise the vehicle until the flat tyre is about at least 3 centimetres above the ground. You can now remove the nuts all the way and your flat tyre.

Now place the spare on the hub by lining up the rim with the wheel studs. Push gently until the studs show through the rim and put the wheel nuts back on the studs and tighten them all the way by hand. Once they are all on, check each one again, tightening as much as possible.  You will tighten them with the tyre iron after lowering the vehicle to the ground.

Use the jack to lower the vehicle so that the spare tyre is resting on the ground but the full weight of the vehicle isn’t fully on the tyre. At this point, you should tighten the wheel nuts with the tyre iron, turning clockwise, as much as you can.  Push down on the tyre iron with the full weight of your body.

Bring the vehicle all the way to the ground and remove the jack. Give the wheel nuts another pull with the tyre iron to ensure they’re as tight as possible. Put all your tools away now as you won’t need them.

At the next service station check the tyre pressure of your spare. It needs to be the same as if the tyre is a temporary tyre when your need to have a minimum of 60PSI (a temporary tyre should only be used for a short period of time take you tyre to be repaired or replaced as soon as possible). A standard tyre should be the pumped to the same pressure as the other tyres on the vehicle.

If you require any mechanical, electrical or A/C service or repairs call Townsville Mobile Mechanic 0400 401 171.




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