Changing tyres: Things to be considered

Changing tyres is a skill and everyone who drives must learn it. Having a mobile phone with the helpline is a good idea but it may not work because of the dead battery of your mobile or no signals, or you may forget to keep or lose the mobile. Tyre failure can occur anywhere and you may be left with the only option that is to change the tyre yourself. Tyre changing is an easy job. Just these tips and you are done.

To fix the flat tyre, you need the following things 

When you buy your vehicle, these items are a parting of it:

• Jack

• Lug spanner

• An extra tyre that is fully inflated

• Manual of the vehicle owner

In case you have missed these items or misplaced them somewhere, you must buy them at the earliest. Make sure that you keep the spare tyre inflated as per the manual instruction according to the recommended psi of the vehicle manufacturer. Also, you need to bill the air pressure of the spare tyre along with checking other tyres. Do it every month and before going on a long drive or before carrying an extra load.

You may not get some items when you buy the vehicle but you need to keep them with you to inflate tyres:

• Torch with working batteries

• Rain poncho

• Small cut of 2"x6” wood to secure the jack

• Gloves

• Wheel wedges how you tin change the tyre

Stopping by a right place

Do not suddenly apply the brake or take a turn when you realise that you have a flat tyre. Gradually lower down the speed and keep an eye on the surrounding to find a right place to stop; a wide verge with an even, straight stretch. it will be ideal if you find a parking. Stopping on a level earth will resist rolling and it is better to stop here than stopping on turns as the oncoming traffic will be able to see you from a distance.

Never try to stop by a narrow verge near oncoming traffic. Go on moving until you reach a safe location. Replace the rim whilst driving on a flat risk.

Do not forget to consult the manual of your vehicle owner and understand the particular steps on how you tin change a flat tyre.

Keep your vehicle visible to others

Your flashers or hazard lights should be on to let the drivers know your presence on the roadside.

Use the parking brake

Once you find the spot, use the parking brake when you are ready to replace the flat tyre. It will help reduce the rolling of your vehicle.

Place wheel wedges to stop rolling

Wheel wedges work to stop rolling when you fix the tyre, they are in front of or behind the tyres. Place them in front of the front tyres if you want to change the rear tyre. And put the wheel wedges behind the rear tyre when you are fixing the flat tyre at the front. If you do not have wedges, take any wooden block, stones or bricks. They should be in the sise to stop the rolling of your wagon.

Take the wheel cover away

If your vehicle is having a hubcap that covers the lug nuts, you will better be able to remove the hubcap before you lift the vehicle with the jack. And if the lug nuts are not covered, go directly to the next step.

The flat end of the lug spanner can be used to remove the hubcap. Generally, it works for most of the vehicles but in some vehicles, some hubcaps may need a different tool. Review the manual of your vehicle owner to know the procedure of proper hubcap or wheel cover removal.

Unfasten the lug nuts

You need to turn the lug nuts anti-clockwise with the lug spanner until their resistance is broken. it may need using force and you may use your foot or all more force of all of your body. You need to loosen the lug nuts about ¼ to ½ of a turn; their complete removal is not needed yet. Keep it like this until you remove your tyre or wheel from the wagon.

Put the jack under the car

Put the jack under the vehicle on the side of the flat tyre. There is molded plastic on the bottom that is made for the jack in many vehicle frames. See the manual again to safely lift the vehicle and to avoid damage to the vehicle, follow the instructions to place the jack.

Lift the wagon

Put a small piece of wood in 2x6” sise before you attempt to lift the wagon. It will stop the jack from settling under the weight of your vehicle and disturbing the balance. It will work especially on asphalt. When you position the jack properly, lift the vehicle until you find the flat tyre about six inches above the earth. Avoid putting your body parts under the vehicle when you raise the vehicle with the jack.

Unscrew and remove the lug nuts by hand

Remove the lug nuts all the way. Unscrew them by hand. It’s easy as they are already loosened.

Pull and gently remove the flat tyre

Gripping the tyre by the treads, pull it gently toward you until it’s completely free from the hub behind it. Set it on its side so that it doesn’t roll away.

Put the spare tyre on the hub

Now queue the rim with the lug bolts and place the spare tyre on the hub. Push it softly until the lug bolts are seen through the rim.

Squeeze the lug nuts tightly

Put the lug nuts back on the lug bolts. You can tighten it with your hand. Bill each one of them again when all of them are on and tighten them as much as you can. When you lower the wagon, tighten them with the spanner.

Squeeze the lug nuts again with the spanner

Lower the vehicle with the jack to make the spare tyre rest on the earth but keep it in mind that the tyre is not carrying the full weight of the vehicle. Here, you need to tighten the lug nuts with the spanner, turn them clockwise, as much as possible. Put your full weight and push down on the lug spanner.

Lower the vehicle down on the ground

Now lower the vehicle to the earth and take away the jack. Pull the lug nuts once again to confirm that they are tight enough as required.

Replace the hubcap carefully

If the hubcap that you took from the flat tyre fits the spare tyre, put it exactly the same way you removed it in the beginning. If it seems to be unfit, stow it away with the tyre whilst stowing your equipment.

Carefully pick the tools

Bill the list of tools and equipments scattered on the earth. Do not forget to pick everything and keep it with you before you leave. Wheel wedges, flat tyre, jack, a lug spanner, hubcap, and wheel wedges: all you need to keep with you.

Keep an eye on the pressure in the spare tyre

Before leaving, make sure that you have checked the tyre pressure of the spare tyre. “T-type” temporary spares, also called “mini-spares,” need 60 psi (420 kpa). If the tyre pressure is low, slowly drive to a service station right away.

Your flat tyre needs an expert

Temporary spare tyres are supposed to be driven for short distance and at slow speed. So take care until you reach an expert tyre technician. Get an expert opinion on it and then drive.

Time to fix your flat tyre

It will take not more than 15 to 30 minutes to get the tyre checked and change it if needed. Just make sure you have not left any step at any stage. It will be a good practice if you try it in your garage or any other place. Thus you will be able to better handle such situation if you are already familiar with the steps.

Some bonus tips for you

It is great to know how to fix a flat tyre but it is equally important to take care of regular tyre maintenance.

Review this guide on regular basis. Also, do not forget to:

• Keep your tyres inflated in an appropriate way

• Rotate your tyres as per the guidelines given by the manufacturer

• keep an eye on the tread wear these precautions will save you from extra hassle, extend your tyre life, and lessen the probability of a flat. Proper upkeep can improve the running of your tyre and save it from flats. 

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