If you are to learn only one skill to fix one car problem, it has to be to change a flat tyre. Why? If you already has a spare tyre in your car, the tools are already there. Furthermore, changing a flat tyre doesn’t require a whole lot of skill. It is one of the easiest thing to fix in the car. If you can change a flat, you can keep moving within half an hour. It’s not hard, just follow these steps.
Move to a safe spot
If you notice a flat tyre while your car is parked, that would actually be a fortunate thing because you are most probably located at a safe spot. If you realize a tyre is losing pressure while driving, gradually slow down and move to the emergency lane. Turn on your hazard light. Pull your handbrake. Here comes the tricky part. If the flat tyre is on the driver’s side, it would be closer to the road and traffic. That makes working on it rather unsettling because cars and lorries would be whizzing by behind you. There are very few things in life scarier than that, and it should be — it is very dangerous. Even if you are capable of changing a tyre, you still want to get ROGER Roadside Assist to help you out.
On the other hand, if you believe the environment is safe enough, proceed to change the flat tyre.
Get the spare tyre and tools
For most cars with spare tyres, the tools are located in your car boot. Check if the spare tyre is properly inflated. If not, it cannot be used, and you will need to call for roadside assistance.
Otherwise, Remove the tyre and place it on the ground for the time being. A spare tyre may weight anywhere between 10kg to 20kg. Be careful not to over-exert yourself.
The tools normally include a jack, a metal rod, a lug wrench, user’s manual and possibly a “key” for your lock nut, if applicable. A lock nut is like regular lug nuts but with special cut-out to deter theft. Thieves who do not have the key would have a hard time stealing your wheels. If you can’t find your key, towing is your only option.
Loosen the lug nuts
If your wheel comes with a hubcap, remove it to expose the lug nuts. Then, use the lug wrench on the nuts. Some vehicles use lock nuts to prevent theft. In this case, you need to place the key between the lug wrench and the lock nut in order to turn it.
With the lug wrench on the nut, turn it counter-clockwise. In the event that the nuts are too tight, use your foot to step on one side of the lug wrench. Hopefully your bodyweight would be sufficient to turn it. Loosen the lug nuts half-way. Do not remove them completely just yet.
Raise your car with the jack
Place the jack under the car near the flat tyre. There is usually a specific spot designed for the jack underneath your car. It is usually exposed metal along the vehicle frame near the wheel. Refer to your user’s manual for clarification. Placing the jack anywhere else may damage your car. Worse still, the car might slide away.
Then, use the metal rod to turn the jack. Keep turning until the wheel is about 10cm off the ground. Note: Under no circumstances you should go underneath the car!
Remove the Lug Nuts
Now you can remove the lug nuts with your hand, as they have already been loosened. Note: Be sure to place the removed lug nuts in some sort of container (maybe on the removed hubcap), so that they don’t roll away, or somehow become lost! You will be needing them again in a few moment.
Remove the Flat Tyre
Remove the flat tyre from the hub. It’s heavy, and can weight 10kg to 20kg. Be careful with it.
Mount the Spare Tyre
Bring in the spare tyre. If it’s too heavy, roll it instead of carrying it. Align the rim with the lug bolts. Push it in. The lug bolts should be showing through the rim.
Tighten the Lug Nuts with Your Hand
The tougher work is almost done. Now, the lug nuts should go back on to the lug bolts. Tighten them with you hand.
Lower Your Car, but Not Completely
Turn the car jack the other way to lower your car until the spare tyre touches the ground, but not all way down. You don’t want the full weight of the car on the spare tyre yet.
Tighten the Lug Nuts with the Lug Wrench
Now is the time to properly tighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench. Use your foot again to turn the lug wrench to make sure the lug nuts are screwed on tightly.
Lower Your Car Completely
You can finally lower the car completely. Remove the jack and pack all equipment, including the flat tyre, in your car boot. You’re ready to go.
Drive at Moderate Speed to Visit a Tyre Shop
Spare tyres are not designed for high speed. Drive carefully to your tyre shop to get the flat tyre fixed.
You don’t have to wait until a flat tyre happens before changing it. See our guide on signs that tell you it’s time for getting new tyres.
Now you know how to change a flat tyre. But it is not exactly the most pleasant experience here in Malaysia lifting weight under our hot sun (or in the thunderstorm). For maximum safety and efficiency, get ROGER roadside assistance app.