Changing a Flat Tyre

To save space and weight, many new cars have a puncture repair kit which consists of sealant and a compressor, rather than a spare wheel.  If you don’t have a spare it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the kit provided so you’ll know what to do if you do get a puncture.If your car does have a spare it’s a good idea to practise changing a wheel at home in the daylight when the weather’s warm and dry, then if you do suffer a puncture you’ll be able to cope more easily, even if it’s dark, cold or wet. Check the handbook first as this might include vehicle specific advice if so follows the hand book advice. For your own safety don’t try to change a wheel on the hard shoulder of a motorway or at the side of a road. Turn off or pull over well away from the traffic and call for help. Don’t try to change a wheel on soft, loose or uneven ground. Don’t try to change a wheel with passengers still in the car, move everyone to a place of safety, well away from the vehicle and carriageway, don’t work under a car while it’s raised on a jack, don’t try to use the jack anywhere other than at the specified jacking points – attaching the jack in the wrong place can cause damage to the car and/or risks it collapsing when lifted. Before lifting the car, plan the job so that the vehicle is raised for the minimum amount of time, switch off the engine and turn on the hazard lights, apply the handbrake and engage first gear (or ‘P’ if an automatic). Secure the road wheel diagonally opposite the one to be replaced with a wedge, remove the spare from the boot/carrier – a carrier under the vehicle may be rusty and difficult to move, lay the spare on the ground where it will be convenient for fitting, remove the wheel trim (if fitted) – you may have to cut cable ties and/or lever the trim off, place the jack in the recommended lifting point closest to the wheel to be removed. Ensure that the jack head engages correctly (as shown in the handbook) and extend the jack until it just starts to lift the car on its springs. Don’t lift the car any further yet, loosen off the wheel nuts/bolts (most turn anti–clockwise to undo) using the vehicle’s wheel brace and locking wheel-nut adapter if required. (There might be a protective cover over locking wheel nuts, keep your back straight and body weight evenly distributed on both feet. When lifting the car raise the jack to lift the vehicle sufficiently so that the wheel is just clear of the ground, remove the slackened wheel nuts/bolts while keeping the wheel in position on the hub using a knee or toe – leave the top one until last so that both hands are free to lift the wheel away from the hub. Replace it in the carrier or boot well. If the spare is a temporary-use ‘skinny’ spare, note any restrictions on use – they’re typically limited to 50 mph and should be replaced with a normal tyre as soon as possible. Some dashboard lights may come on while a space saver spare is used because systems like ABS, traction control and some automatic gearboxes can be upset by odd tyre sizes. Check/adjust the pressure in the ‘new’ tyre as soon as possible. Get the wheel nuts tightened to the correct torque figure as soon as possible. Get the damaged tyre replaced or repaired as soon as possible.

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