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Car Repairs: How To Change A Wheel On Your Car

By: James Ruppert
How to change a wheel on your car

Changing a wheel is a life skill we don't think we need anymore. After all, it's much better to get someone else to do what is a dirty job. Except there may well be an occasion when the only way to get home will be by actually changing a wheel yourself. It isn’t difficult provided you follow some simple safety rules. Oh and try to dress for the occasion.

Step by step instructions follow below this handy video. 

Changing A Wheel Step 1: Be Prepared

Make sure you have:

  • an old pair of gloves 
  • something to rest on
  • something to wear like an old coat.

The next thing to do is find a safe place to change the wheel. Somewhere away from the road which is level and solid.

It would be a good idea to read your vehicle owner’s manual to see if there are any recommendations, tips or advice.

 

Changing A Wheel Step 2: Before You Remove The Wheel

If you are near traffic then switch on your hazard warning lights and if you have a warning triangle place that behind your vehicle.
 
Make sure the hand brake is on, but you can also reduce the chances of the vehicle rolling by either using wedges, which are supplied with some models, or you could use bricks or other heavy objects. Put them on the front wheels if the puncture is at the rear and vice versa.

 

Changing A Wheel Step 3: Removing The Wheel

Remove the spare wheel from the car, it's usually in the boot, and any fitting tools such as a spanner and the jack.
 
If there is a wheel trim, take it off, usually there is a flat end on the spanner for this. The spanner is there to loosen the wheel nuts by turning them anti clockwise. That may be hard, as often they are tightened at a garage, so feel free to use your foot.

Once loose, get the car jack and place it where the owner’s manual recommends. It is also handy to have a slim piece of wood for the jack to sit on to even out rough ground, keep the vehicle balanced and it will also stop damage to your drive.
 
Raise the car until the flat tyre is at least 10-15cm clear of the ground. Now unscrew the wheel nuts. Remove the wheel by pulling it slowly towards you and then lay it on the ground so that it cannot roll away.

 

Changing A Wheel Step 4: Putting Your Spare On

Take the spare wheel and line up the holes with the threaded stubs and push it gently onto the hub. Put the nuts on and tighten by hand until the wheel is flat against the hub.
 
Lower the car until it touches the ground and then tighten the nuts by turning them clockwise. With the spanner. Finally lower the vehicle completely and tighten the nuts fully.

 

Changing A Wheel Step 5: Check The Tyre Pressure

Replace the hubcap. Repack the wheel and tools into your car. If possible check the tyre pressure in the replaced tyre. It's a good idea to buy a small battery operated compressor to do this. It's also a good idea to have a can of tyre weld to repair certain types of puncture, which is enough to get you home.
 
If your spare wheel is a space saver, which should not exceed 50 mph, it's best to get your flat tyre repaired or replaced at an accredited garage.

If you don't fancy changing your tyre invest in MotorEasy breakdown cover to do the hard work for you. With up to 6 call outs a year and 80% of repairs completed at the roadside you'll be on your way again in no time. 

 

Get A Breakdown Quote

 

Further Reading

Tyre Markings: Understand The Writing & Codes On Your Sidewall

Winter Driving - Do You Really Need Winter Tyres?

The £2 Billion Wasted by UK Motorists on Car Servicing

 

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