Are you ready for a girl’s guide on how to change a flat tyre, stress free!

What you’ll need to change a flat tyre:

  • Jack
  • Lug wrench
  • Fully inflated spare tire
  • Vehicle owner’s manual
  • Flashlight with working batteries
  • Gloves

How long does the process take?

The below procedure shouldn’t take more than 15 to 30 minutes to change a tyre. Just be sure you don’t leave out any steps.

It’s beneficial to practice changing a tyre in your garage or driveway to ensure you’re ready to handle this situation if it ever happens to you.

Let’s get right into the tyre changing process:

1. Get to a safe and open location

As soon as you realise you have a flat tyre, do not abruptly brake or turn.  Slowly reduce speed and scan your surroundings for a level, straight stretch of road in the open. An empty parking lot would be an ideal place. Level ground is good because it will prevent your vehicle from rolling. Also, straight stretches of road are better than curves because oncoming traffic is more likely to see you. Never attempt to change your tyre near oncoming traffic. Keep moving (slowly) until you find a safer spot.

2. Turn on your hazard lights

Your hazard lights or “flashers” will help other drivers see you on the side of the road. To avoid an accident, turn them on as soon as you realise you need to pull over.

3. Apply the parking brake

Once stopped, always use the parking brake when preparing to replace a flat tyre. This will minimise the possibility of your vehicle rolling.

4. Remove the hub cap or wheel cover 

If your vehicle has a hubcap covering the lug nuts, it’s easier to remove the hubcap before lifting the vehicle with the jack. If your lug nuts are exposed, you can skip ahead to Step 5. Use the flat end of your lug wrench to remove the hubcap. This will work for most vehicles, but some hubcaps need a different tool to come off.

5. Loosen the lug nuts

Using the lug wrench, turn the lug nuts counterclockwise until you break their resistance. You may have to use force, and that’s ok. Use your foot or all of your bodyweight if necessary. Loosen the lug nuts about ¼ to ½ of a turn, but don’t remove them completely yet. Save that for when it’s time to remove your tyre/wheel from the vehicle.

6. Place the jack under the vehicle

The right place for the jack is usually beneath the vehicle frame alongside the tyre that’s flat. Many vehicle frames have molded plastic on the bottom with a cleared area of exposed metal specifically for the jack.

7. Raise the vehicle with the jack

With the jack properly positioned, raise the vehicle until the flat tyre is about 20cm above the ground. Never put any part of your body under the vehicle during or after raising the vehicle with the jack.

8. Unscrew the lug nuts

Now it’s time to remove the lug nuts all the way. Since you’ve already loosened them, you should be able to unscrew them mostly by hand.

9. Remove the flat tyre

Gripping the tyre by the treads, pull it gently toward you until it’s completely free from the hub behind it. Set it on its side so that it doesn’t roll away.

10. Mount the spare tyre on the lug bolts

Now place the spare on the hub by lining up the rim with the lug bolts. Push gently until the lug bolts show through the rim.

11.Tighten the lug nuts by hand

Put the lug nuts back on the lug bolts 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 wrench after lowering the vehicle to the ground.

12. Lower the vehicle and tighten the nuts again

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

13. Replace the hubcap

If the hubcap you took from the flat tyre will fit your spare, put it in place the same way you removed it initially. If it doesn’t fit, stow it away with the tire when you stow your equipment.

14.Stow all equipment

You have before you a jack, a lug wrench, your flat tyre, and possibly a hubcap. Don’t forget to put all of them in your vehicle before driving away.

 

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