A Guide To... Changing a spare wheel.
A punctured tyre is an unwelcome experience at the best of times.
However, should you find yourself on the receiving end of one, this guide will tell you all you need to know about fitting your spare wheel quickly, properly and safely. It’s a good idea to practice fitting your spare wheel at home so you are familiar with your car’s tools and jacking points.
Before you do anything else, make sure you are safe. Don’t even attempt to change your wheel on the hard shoulder or even by the road side. If you can, drive away from the main road, finding somewhere firm and level to park up. Before you start, ask all your passengers to exit the vehicle and get everything you need ready so the car is jacked up for the minimum amount of time.
Changing the spare
Switch of the engine and turn on the hazard warning lights. If you’ve got a warning triangle, place this in plain sight to warn other road users. Pull up the handbrake and leave the car in gear, (or in PARK if an auto). Chock the wheel on the corner of the car diagonally across from the flat tyre. Place the jack in the recommended position, (check the owner’s manual), and begin to lift the car until the car begins to move. Don’t lift the wheel off the ground fully. Remove the wheel trim if fitted. This may have cable ties holding it on. It’s a good idea to keep a set of side cutters with your car’s tool kit for this reason. Loosen the wheel nuts off half a turn using the wheel brace and the locking wheel nut key if needed. The wheel nuts may suddenly undo so be keep both feet firmly on the ground to avoid losing your balance. Now raise the car with the jack so the wheel is off the ground. Remove the wheel nuts. Don’t go around the wheel in a circular pattern removing the nuts. Criss cross the centre in a star pattern instead. Bareful as you remove the last nut as the wheel may tip forward. If once the nuts have been removed the wheel remains firm, (common with alloy wheels), loosely replace one of the nuts and CAREFULLY tap the edge of the wheel rim with your heel to unseat the rim from the hub. Fitting the spare wheel is the reverse procedure to removal. Remember to tighten up the wheels nuts in a star pattern across the centre. Lower the car down until the tyre makes contact with the ground, then retighten all the wheel nuts. Lower the car completely and recheck the wheel nuts once more. If you’ve used a locking key, take care not to leave it on the nut as you drive away.
As soon as you can, check the pressure of the fitted spare and torque the wheel nuts up to the correct manufacturers specifications. Have the flat tyre repaired or replaced asap.
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