How to change a flat tyre in five steps
As Aussies prepare to swap planes for cars and holiday in our own backyard this year, it's time to brush up on some road trip basics - including how to change a flat tyre.
We chatted to Mitchell Golledge, managing director at Continental Tyres, to find out everything you need to know about changing a tyre in the event of a flat.
1. FIRST THINGS FIRST
To change a flat tyre, you'll need your vehicle manual, a spare tyre, a wrench, wheel brace and a jack.
Pull your car over into a safe location - a flat, straight stretch of road is ideal, or a parking lot if there is one nearby. Avoid stopping on a curved road, as ongoing traffic may not be able to see you.
Once your vehicle is stationary and in a safe location, turn on the hazard lights and ensure that the handbrake is on.
Grab your wheel wedge (or a large stone or piece of wood) and place it at the opposite end of the car to the tyre you're replacing.
2. LIFT YOUR VEHICLE
To lift your car, you will need a jack - this can usually be found in the boot of your car.
Place the jack on the underside of your car where you feel notches or grooves.
Once in place, slowly turn the wheel brace until you've lifted a fair amount of weight off the flat tyre - about 15 centimetres above the ground. You want enough space to be able to pull the old tyre off, and pop the new one on.
3. REMOVING THE TYRE
Once you've lifted the car, you will be able to safely remove the flat tyre. You'll need a wheel brace for this step - this is a socket wrench and is most commonly L or X shaped. Using the wheel brace, turn the wheel nuts anticlockwise until they become loose.
Grip the tyre by its tread and slowly pull it towards you.
4. PUTTING ON THE NEW TYRE
Now that you've removed the flat tyre, it's time to replace it with the spare. Grab your spare tyre from the boot of your car and line up the wheel holes with the lug bolts so that you can lift it on in one go.
Push the tyre towards the car until the lug bolts show through the rim. Once the wheel is secured in position you can go ahead and screw on the wheel nuts by hand.
It's important that you don't completely tighten with the wrench until the car is lowered to the ground. You want to wait until the car is off the jack and entirely stable. This is to ensure that the tyre is safely and properly secured.
5. THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
Lower the car so that the tyre is touching the ground but the entire weight of the vehicle is not resting on it. Now, use your wrench to tighten the wheel nuts as tight as you possibly can. Once this is done, lower the vehicle completely and remove the jack. At this stage, you should give the wheel nuts a final tighten - making sure that they couldn't possibly be any tighter. You're good to go.
Make sure you have your tyre fixed as soon as you return from your trip so that you have a spare ready in case of your next emergency.
Originally published as How to change a flat tyre in 5 steps