Change Tyre

Changing a Tyre

by: Kevin Schappell

It always happens at the worst times! You need to know how to change a tyre even if you have an auto club membership. Depending on where you get a flat tyre, there may not be a phone nearby to call a tow truck. Let's take is step by step and always remember to read your owners manual, there will be detailed instructions relating to your car there.

I would like to mention a few tips for getting to the side of the road safely if you have a tyre puncture whilst driving on the road.

  1. You must stay calm, do not panic!
  2. Slowly take your foot off of the gas and let the vehicle coast to a stop.
  3. Do not make any sudden braking or steering actions.
  4. Put your hazard lights on to alert other drivers.

Now that you are safely off of the road you can go about changing your tyre

Tyre Changing Step 1: (Stopping)

Make sure you are on firm flat ground and sufficiently far away from the traffic. If you are not, then try to drive to a more suitable spot, but only if you can do so safely. Try to avoid driving back onto the road and into traffic.

Tyre Changing Step 2: (Safety First)

Make sure your handbrake is on and put the car in Park or 1st gear if you have a manual transmission. Ensure that the engine is turned off.

Tyre Changing Step 3: (Tools)

Locate the spare tyre, jack, and wheel wrench. These are usually located in the trunk underneath the carpet on cars. Trucks usually have the jack and wheel wrench behind the seat or under the hood, with the spare tyre under the bed.

Tyre Changing Step 4: (Instructions)

Typically there are instructions printed on the jack or somewhere near the storage compartment. Read these instructions, they will tell you where to jack the vehicle and any special steps you will need to take.

Tyre Changing Step 5: (Getting started)

First remove the hubcap or wheel cover. The wheel wrench often has a flat end, which you can use to pry off the cover. If not, a screwdriver will work just fine.

Tyre Changing Step 6: (Lug Nuts)

Before you jack the car up you will want to break loose the wheel nuts. The weight of the car will keep the wheel from spinning and allow you to apply more force to the nuts. You do not want to completely remove the wheel nuts yet.... just break them loose. Once the wheel nut begins to move, STOP and move onto the next one. I often carry a small pipe, which will fit over the wheel wrench. This pipe can provide additional leverage and allow you to get those stubborn wheel nuts off. Always remember righty tighty, lefty loosy. Turn the wheel nuts left or counter clockwise to loosen.

Tyre Changing Step 7: (Jack the car)

Now you should be able to jack up the car. Locate the manufacturer jacking points by reading the owners manual or the instructions near or on the jack. Most cars will have a reinforced lip where the jack can be placed. If you can not locate this, look for a solid portion of the frame to jack on. Make sure the jack is on firm level ground and start jacking. Take it slowly and only go as far as you need to get the wheel completely off the ground.

Tyre Changing Step 8: (Remove Tyre)

The wheel is off the ground and it's time to remove the wheel nuts. Use the wrench or your fingers to remove the nuts. Slowly take the wheel off and set it to the side.

Tyre Changing Step 9: (New Tyre)

Get the new wheel and put it on the car. Tighten the wheel nuts as tight as you can without the wheel spinning. Don't worry about getting the nuts super tight, as you will do the final tightening when the car is off of the jack.

Tyre Changing Step 10: (Jack the Car)

Let the car down off of the jack and get your wheel wrench. Tighten the wheel nuts in a star pattern if there are five nuts. Start with one wheel nut and skip the next one until they are all tight. If you have 4 nuts, just tighten the opposite nut from where you started and then the remaining two in any order.

Tyre Changing Step 11: (Wheel Covers)

Replace your wheel cover or hubcap and clean up the jack, wheel wrench and blown tyre. If your spare tyre had air in it, you should be able to continue your journey. You may be organised enough to have a tyre pump that runs off of the cigarette lighter in your car. If you do check the tyre pressure that you should pump to and inflate the spare tyre accordingly.

Finally: Remember if you have a temporary spare tyre (AKA doughnut) you can only drive a few miles to a service station and usually not over 50 MPH.

by: Kevin Schappell

Kevin Schappell maintains where he gives advice on car maintenance, buying, selling, insurance, and financing. A mechanical engineer and car guy, Kevin has decided to spend his online time helping others learn about carmobiles.

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"Don't you mean 'How to change a wheel'? "


"Just changed my first tyre after reading your guide. many thanks for the advice!"


"We all know that garages torque lug nuts up with air guns, but how tight is tight enough? I don't want to have a whell come off, but without an airgun, there's a limit to how much torque I can apply."