Changing a flat car tyre

1. Prepare the car

Apply the handbrake and remove all passengers from the car, assure you are on a flat area of land and not a slanted area to prevent the car from rolling away.

Take the spare wheel and necessary tools (the jack and lug wrench) out from underneath the boot.

Please note: If you have broken down or breakdown on a busy road, especially smart motorways, turn your wheels left (facing the curb). This is in case another vehicle smashes into the back of your car, as it will go into the curb/ verge and not into live traffic.

2. Position the wheel chocks if available, if not place a heavy brick or rock

Position a chock on the opposite wheel to the one with a puncture.

For example, if your left-front tyre has a puncture, place a chock behind the right rear wheel. If your left-rear tyre is flat, you need to place a chock in front of the right-front wheel.

3. Loosen the wheel nuts

It is easier and safer to loosen the wheel nuts whilst the car is on the ground.

Depending on the car, you may need to lever off a plastic wheel trim first or remove the hubcap before you are able to remove the wheel nuts.

Turn the wheel wrench anti-clockwise and loosen the nuts to the nuts to the point where they can be turned by hand.

It is very important that you do not remove the wheel nuts or the wheel yet.

4. Jack the car up

All cars have dedicated jacking points – these are shown in the vehicle’s handbook.

Aim to position the jack at the side of the car, close to the punctured wheel.

If possible, place a small plank of flat wood under the jack as it will help keep it stable.

Raise the car slowly until the car is 10-15cm off the ground.

5. Remove the flat tyre

Fully loosen and remove the wheel nuts, then gently pull the tyre towards you until it comes free, place the tyre flat on the floor.

6. Mount the spare wheel

Slide the spare wheel onto the protruding hub bolts, or in line with the wheels nut slots. (the wheel is heavy to lift off the ground)

Re-place the wheel nuts and tighten them by hand, do not fully tighten them yet. (If you try to fully tighten the wheel nuts with the wrench, there is a chance of you pulling the car off the jack and damaging your vehicle.)

7. Lower the car and tighten the bolts.

Use the jack to drop the car down slightly, so that the spare tyre is in contact with the ground.

Now use the wrench to fully tighten the wheel nuts.

8. Fully lower the car

Bring the car fully down to the earth and remove the jack.

It is worth giving the wheel nuts a final check, assuring they are as tight as possible.

Stow the jack and punctured tyre in the boot, along with the rest of your equipment.

9. Check the spare tyre pressure

If you have a tyre pressure gauge, check the spare wheel is fully inflated.

Alternatively, drive carefully to a petrol station and use the gauge there.

If needed pump the tyre up to the recommended pressure – as detailed in the handbook.

10. Take your punctured tyre for repair

Visit a garage or tyre fitters a the first opportunity and give them your punctures wheel.

They will advise whether it can be repaired or needs to be replaced.

Don’t drive on a space-saver spare wheel for longer than is strictly necessary – they are only intended for emergencies.

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