1. Do you need to change your car tyre?
Firstly, do you need to change your car tyre? Reasons that you might need to change your tyre include getting a puncture, or that your tread has worn down towards the legal limit. It is good practice to regularly change your tyres as a good quality set will keep you safe. Remember that your tyres are what connects your car to the road, you do not want to break this link.
Changing your tyres is considered a simple automotive task. But if you’re a novice, there can be dangers involved. Therefore preparation is key to completing this job smoothly with no problems. Whether you plan to change your car tyre in the garage, or unexpectedly on the side of the road, you will need a flat surface. Before exiting the car, you must apply the parking brake to ensure it does not move when getting worked on. In addition, solid blocks (wood, metal, or stone) should be placed on either side of the wheels. Once the car is stationary, you can gather the tools you require for this job. To change your car tyre you will need; spare tyre, jack, wrench, and any sort of emergency/safety equipment if you are on the side of the road. If you are unsure of what is required, please consult your car’s manual.
3. Loosen the wheel nuts
Take note! Loosen your wheel nuts before attempting to jack the car up. Loosening the nuts will save you a lot of time and effort trying to remove them when the car is in the air. You might have noticed the bold text above. This is emphasising to loosen them, NOT remove the nuts. If you are unsure about how to loosen the wheel nuts, the video below by ‘MilMast’ provides good advice.
4. Jack the car up
Without the car being in the air, you will not be able to change your car tyre. To lift the tyre off the ground you will need to use a jack. All cars should come with a car jack, in most cases, it is a scissor jack. But when in the garage, I find that a bigger floor jack is much easier to use. It is important to know the ‘jacking points’ of your car. If you are not aware of where these are found, use your car’s manual. Jacking in the wrong place may lead to expensive repair fees. The image I have included below displays common locations of jacking points. But please consult your manual as these may differ on your vehicle.
5. Remove the tyre
This step is pretty straightforward when you change your car tyre, but you will need some muscles. Once the car is jacked up and the tyre is off the ground remove the nuts who have loosened. Repeat the action you did with your tool from step 3, although this time remove all the nuts from the wheel studs. Remember to put the nuts in a place where you will not lose them! Now by lifting with your knees, remove the wheel off the studs. If you are having trouble, wiggle the wheel to help free it. It is often good practice to place the removed wheel half under your lifted car (if there is space) to provide extra protection encase the jack fails.
6. Replace with the new tyre
So for this step on how to change your car tyre, you will do the opposite of step 5. Get your spare wheel and line up the holes with the wheels studs. Make sure that the face of the wheel is perpendicular to the studs, otherwise it will not slide on. Once the wheel is on evenly, ensure that all the threads of the studs are showing. Take the nuts that you removed and tighten them back onto the studs. Remember, these only need to be hand tight before you lower the car.
7. Lower the car
Now that the new tyre is on the car it can be lowered. First of all, make sure there is nothing under the car that shouldn’t be there. Once the area is clear, loosen the jack handle to slowly lower the car. Once the jack is removed and the car wheel is back on the ground, we now have to do the most important step. You must tighten the wheel nuts! Do not forget to do this. It is extremely dangerous to drive your car with loose nuts. Ensure that all nuts are done up as tight as you can. If this was your first time changing a tyre, it would be a good idea to drop into a mechanic shop and have them check everything has been done correctly.
8. Tidy up!
Congratulations! You have learnt how to change your car tyre. Pretty easy wasn’t it? The job is not done yet though, you must clean up. Pick up and put away all the tools you used, it would be unfortunate to move the car and re-puncture a tyre from rolling over your own tools. Also, remember to remove the blocks you put behind the wheels. If you did this change at your home, it is good practice to take the car for a drive around the block. This will help identify any potential problems with your tyre change before you take your car on a busier section of road.
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