It won’t be a tough task to change the wheel at the side of the road if you know how to change it. Your car can get puncture at any point of the day or night without giving any warning. Even if you are sure that you can fit the extra wheel all by yourself, it can set your journey back and would cause you some extra hassle as well.
But if you don’t know how to fit the spare tire, then the situation can be even more irritating as all you can do is to wait for the mechanic to arrive and complete the task for you. So if you will learn how to change this car part, it would save your time as well as a lot of money. Before knowing how to do it, here are some precautions you should take.
- Keep your spare wheel ready to use
If you get a puncture, then it would be extremely demoralizing to find that the spare wheel is flat and its rubber is old and perished. So make it a point to get your spare wheel’s tyre pressure checked along with the other ones. You should do this every couple of months. Always inspect your spare wheel to check that the rubber is in good condition or not.
- Never change a wheel on the motorway
It would just take a fraction of seconds for some careless driver to wipe you out of the road, so always use your mobile phone to call for a recovery service. It would help you to move to a safe place before you start doing any work on your car. This is one important breakdown tips.
- Use a puncture repair kit
There are some cars which do not have a spare wheel, but they have a puncture repair kit and a compressor that would help you to pump the tyre up again.
- Be careful
When you change a tyre, it involves raising it onto a jack. Be careful and sensible while doing this and always refer to your car’s manual or you can even seek the help of a professional. Take full precautions as if the jack falls over while the car is on it, then it can cause damage to the car and even you can get injured.
Still wishing to learn how to change the wheel? Read the points mentioned below:
- Make sure the car is on flat, hard, level ground
You are going to jack up your car, so make sure that it is totally safe without your car falling off the jack. Check that your car is properly levelled and there are no lumps as two of the wheels of the car would be lifted off the ground. Also check that the ground is firm and would support the weight of the car when lifted.
- Check you have the key for your locking wheel nuts
There are some cars which are fitted with locking wheel nuts, so first of all you will have to find the locking wheel nut key. You can find it easily in the glove compartment, in the side pockets or near the spare wheel. It will resemble a socket from a socket set. It would completely fit into your wheel nut.
- Check the manual
It would be really helpful if you have your car’s manual. With its help you will get to know the location of your car’s wheel brace and how to use them. Learn how to position the jack properly so that you can lift the car gently without damaging it. With its help you will get to know where your spare wheel is and how to remove it.
- Make sure that your car doesn’t move
Do you want your car to roll away while you are changing the wheel? Of course not! Don’t forget to put your handbrake on and there are two ways to make sure that it doesn’t happen.
Firstly, select the first or the reverse gear of your car and at that time the engine should be turned off. There are some automatic cars, if you have one then put it in ‘park’ or ‘P’. The reason behind this is that the handbrake operates on two wheels.
Secondly, try to block your car physically so that it does not move. Try to figure out which wheel is diametrically opposite to the one you are replacing. Then all you have to do is to find two rocks and some bricks and carefully place them in front and of behind that wheel.
- Loosen your wheel nuts
You must loosen the nuts or bolts that hold the wheel you want to change before you jack the car up. It is because it would be extremely tight and when the wheel is in the air, it would just spin in freely whenever you will try to loosen it. Connect your car’s wheel brace to the nuts and bolts and then turn. Position the wheel brace in such a way that you can push its handle using your foot and you can also use your body weight by standing on it. The nut or the bolt would then start to move and then you will be able to turn the wheel brace by hand to loosen it.
- Find the car’s jack
Your car jack is generally located in the boot. Search it in the side panels or under the boot floor. You can even find it under the bonnet in some cars. As soon as you find it, remove it from the car.
- Find the car’s spare wheel
So now is the time when you should take out your spare wheel and then place it gently on the ground near your car. Many people keep the spare wheel in the compartment below the boot floor. If there is any doubt, then you can always refer to your owner’s manual.
- Position the jack beneath the car
For this part you will have to check your car’s manual. With its help you will get to know that where you should actually position the jack. Usually it is placed beneath the front or rear window.
- Jack the car up
Wind the jack up by following the instructions in the user manual. You can either connect the wheel brace to a nut on the jack or the jack may have a built in handle which you can use. Keep on winding until the wheel you wish to replace is clear of the ground.
- Remove the wheel with the punctured tyre
The time of taking the wheel off the hub has arrived. The nuts and bolts are removed with the help of wheel brace. Then slide the wheel off the hub. Be extremely careful as it would be heavier than you think.
- Locate the spare wheel onto the hub
It would be very easy if your car’s wheel is fastened with nuts. When you have to hang the wheel on the hub, then it would be a nice idea to have a friend or passenger with you to help you supporting the weight of the wheel.
- Secure the wheel
Carefully screw all the nuts and bolts back on. Ensure that all the nuts and bolts are finger tight.
- Jack the car down
Earlier you raised the car up and now you have to reverse that procedure. Wind the jack down until the car is once again resting on all four wheels.
- Tighten the wheel
It is now very important to use the wheel brace for the purpose of tightening up the wheel nuts or the bolts. Tighten them up as hard as you can by using your hand and then you can use your foot to push the wheel brace even further round.
- Clear up and hit the road
Place your old wheel back in the car. Don’t forget to remove the rocks or the bricks from the wheels. Now you are ready to get on the road once again.
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