Here are a few things you should always consider when changing a tyre.
- Make sure the vehicle is safely off the road. It is better to damage a rim getting the vehicle to a safer location than be struck by another vehicle whilst changing a flat.
- Chock the opposing wheel. When changing a flat tyre, one of the worst things that could happen is the car could fall off the jack. To prevent this, place a chock on the opposing wheel so it cannot roll.
- Temporary Jack Stand. Ideally, you would have a jack stand – but chances are these are in the garage and not in your boot. In that case, a good practice to have is to place the spare wheel half under the vehicle behind the jack so that if it fails, the vehicle can’t fall down and crush you. Of course, swap the spare wheel for the damaged wheel as you change them.
- Jack condition. The jack should be in a good condition and well lubricated. Replace a damaged jack immediately and be sure to test and lubricate it at least once every 6 months.
- Safe jack points. If it is not marked on the vehicle, refer to the owner’s manual for the safest positions to place the jack for each tyre.
- Safety First. If you have them, place safety triangles out around the vehicle and wear hi-viz vest. If you don’t have them – add them to your shopping list – they are not that expensive and could save your life!
- Crack the wheel nuts. Whilst the car is on the ground, be sure to crack the wheel nuts JUST BEFORE the wheels leave the ground when jacking up the car. This will make it much easier to undo tight wheel nuts and avoids rocking the vehicle whilst it is in the air and potentially knocking it off the jack.
- Nip them up. When winding the wheel nuts on, be sure to seat the taper first and just nip them up whilst the wheel is still in the air. Once it is on the ground, tighten them up with your wheel brace – but not too tight!
Follow these basic things and you will be safely back on the road in no time!