Tools provided with car, namely the jack and wheel brace, are perfectly adequate but aren’t always the easiest to use. Because they do more of the heavy lifting, a hydraulic trolley jack and a telescopic wheel brace to make changing a tyre much easier.
Save yourself the stress on the roadside by practising changing a tyre yourself while at home regularly. Because the routine will be familiar, the task will seem less overwhelming when it happens. Here’s how to do it in 7 easy steps.
This is obvious but park on a flat surface. Then, put the car in first gear. This stops it from rolling. Have a warning triangle? Put this out on the road to warn other drivers you are stationary in the road. Don’t forget your Hi-vis vest.
Find your user manual. You need to look up the position of the jacking points on your car. If you’ve practiced beforehand though, you’ll know where to find them. The points will be on the vehicle frame between the front and back wheels.
Get your spare wheel out and find your jack and your wheel brace. Now you have to loosen the wheel nuts. Do this before you jack the car up as it’s safer. Can’t see the wheel nuts? They might be underneath the hub caps, so wiggle them off first.
Get the wrench and loosen the wheel nuts. If you have locking nuts, your key (which looks like a thimble for a giant) should be inside the car. Sometimes the nuts are really tight. This is when a telescopic wheel brace is more useful, because you can extend the handle and use your foot to loosen the nuts.
It’s time to jack the car up. Find the jacking points, then either wind or pump the jack handle, so the plate of the jack meets the jacking points perfectly. You only need to lift the car enough to take the wheel off, that should only be a few centimetres.
Without a jack? We recommend you do not follow the Young Offenders off the BBC.
Remove the wheel nuts and take the wheel off. It will be heavy, so make sure you protect your back by bending your knees.
Take your spare tyre and position it to align with bolts. Once it’s in position screw in the first wheel nut with your fingers and then replace the rest of the nuts in the same way. Now you can lower the wheel so that it’s back on the ground. Take your wrench and use it to tighten the wheel nuts. Replace the hub cap. Put all the tools back, take your gloves off or give your hands clean with a wet wipe and you’re almost ready to roll. There’s one more step…
Stand up do a star jump, punch the air and shout “Yessss.” Or, if you’re the modest type, you could just smile quietly to yourself. Either way, you’ve now mastered the art of changing a tyre yourself!