There is nothing worse than breaking down on the side of the road and not being able to change the tyre. Unfortunately, when we learn to drive this is one of the things we are not taught but is so essential when owning a vehicle. Hopefully, you never find yourself in this predicament, but in case you do here we tell you how to change your tyre.

How to safely change your tyre when you have broken down

If you really are unsure of how to change your tyre, you should follow these simple steps, however, if you really feel you are unable to change your tyre, you may need to contact a car recovery in Milton Keynes.

If you purchase a car second hand there is a slim chance it will come with a spare wheel, we highly recommend as soon as you take it out on the road to invest in one as you never know when you may be in a situation where you tyre is punctured. Smaller vehicles also may not have the capacity to hold a spare tyre, however, can hold a space saver, which is only to be used in emergencies and over short periods of time.

Safety first

There are a few things you need to know before changing the tyre on your vehicle:

  • If you have to pull over on the hard shoulder of the motorway make sure you have tucked right away, we normally recommend never changing a tyre on the hard shoulder and to call a recovery team.
  • Dont change your tyre on soft, uneven ground, once you put the jack down and start to lift the car there is a small change the car could sink into the soft ground.
  • You should never change your wheel with passengers inside the car if you have passengers move them a safe distance away from the vehicle and roadside.
  • Never go under the vehicle when it is raised on the jack, you never know if the jack might slip leaving you trapped under the vehicle.
  • The jack points are listed in your vehicle manufacturing handbook, we highly recommend taking a read before you go ahead with placing the jacks. If they are not in the right place, you could also cause more damage to your vehicle not to mention the fact the car could collapse and cause injury.

man changing tyre

Lifting and prepping your vehicle

Make sure your engine is off, and you have put your hazard lights on, you need to make other drivers aware. Otherwise, you could cause an accident. Apply your handbrake and put your vehicle into first gear, if you are driving an automatic vehicle, we recommend putting the car into park.

Put your chock under the wheel diagonal to the one you are changing; this means if you’re changing the rear left wheel, place the chock underneath the front right wheel. We always recommend having your spare wheel beside you when changing your tyre, if you have someone that can help you ensure they are by your side at all times.

Place the jack in the lifting point on the wheel you are changing. When it comes to your jack make sure it has fully engaged with the vehicle if you are unsure of where your jack needs to be fitted take a look at your vehicle handbook. Extend the jack; you will notice the vehicle will slowly start to rise, do not lift your vehicle any further than it needs to go. Otherwise, you can cause the car to topple.

You will then want to loosen the wheel nuts; most vehicles will come with a wheel wrench which will make this easier. Before taking off the last few nuts, we highly recommend you take into consideration the way you are standing. Make sure your weight is distributed evenly as you may find when the nuts eventually give you could lose your balance and cause injury. Make sure you remove the damaged wheel from the vehicle with extra care.

Fitting the new tyre

It is slightly easier to put the new tyre back on your vehicle as you are basically doing the same thing as the removal however in reverse. Place the new wheel on the car and ensure you have loosely refitted the top wheel nut. You will then need to refit the rest of the wheel nuts; this is where most people go wrong and can cause damage to the wheel. To ensure the vehicle is as safe as possible you will need to put the bolts back on diagonally, first tighten with your hands.

You will then need to lower the jack carefully ensuring the wheel touches the ground; this means it is less likely to turn. Previously you tighten the nuts with your hands; you will now need to use the wheel wrench.

hazard sign

What you need to know about tyres

If you have a smaller vehicle and are going to be using a skinny tyre or space saver check the driving restrictions before you head off. Most space savers have a speed limit normally restricted at 50mph.

After you have fitted your spare tyre, we highly recommend taking the vehicle to a car servicing centre in Milton Keynes to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive on the road. While you may think you have fitted the wheel safely, you may need to have it replaced with a more appropriate tyre. They will also make sure your car tyre pressure is at the right KPI and ensure your wheel nuts are sufficiently tightened.

Don’t be afraid of changing your tyre

While it may be daunting having to change a tyre when you have never done it before, it is simple when you are told how. Follow these easy steps to ensure you have changed the tyre on your car safely. If you haven’t already you may want to think about getting a jack for your vehicle, get yours at SGS. As well as putting your hazards on to make other road users aware you have stopped, you may also want to think about getting a warning triangle from Aspli, which you can place a few yards before the car highlight your vehicle.

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