RAC Cars News


Basic Home Maintenance - Changing A Flat Tyre

By raccars Published

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Knowing how to perform one simple task can make all the difference between abject disaster and minor inconvenience - that's changing a tyre. If you suffer a flat miles from home on a lonely road with a car full of kids, knowing how to do something about it can save you a mountain of stress.

First of all, make sure the car is in as safe a position as it can be, on a flat surface. Apply the hazard lights and handbrake and leave manual cars in first or automatics in 'Park.' You should find your spare in your boot along with the tools you need to complete the job - a jack and a wrench and, if necessary, the locking wheel nut key.

If you have alloy wheels you'll probably find your wheel nuts are an odd shape. This is a security device to stop thieves making off with your alloys, so you will need to fit a locking wheel nut key into the end of your wrench to make it fit the nuts. If your car has wheel trims, you will need to pop these off to reach your wheel nuts.

Loosen the nuts on your wheels one turn before jacking up the car, as they are likely to be pretty tight and you will need to use a bit of shove to get them unscrewed.

Find the nearest jacking point to the stricken wheel and set the jack into position. You will need to raise the wheel that you are changing, so that the tyre is about 10cm off the ground. You can then finish unscrewing the wheel nuts.

Remove the wheel by putting one hand on each side, giving a slight lift and pulling it towards you. Put the spare wheel on in its place and replace the wheel nuts. Don't fully tighten them yet but screw on each one a bit at a time to get an even balance around the wheel. Lower the car so the tyre is touching the ground and use the wrench again to make the wheel nuts very tight. Finish lowering the car completely and remove the jack and place it, the duff wheel and your wrench back into the boot. You're ready to go!

If this sounds a bit daunting, consider doing a few practice runs, so you're prepared when the time comes, and don't forget to check the pressure on your spare tyre regularly - opening the boot to find your spare is flat will really take the wind out of your sails!

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