How To Change A Wheel

This is a part of a series of articles provided by the MOT Chelmsford blog.

You never know when you might get a tyre puncture on your travels. Before addressing the mechanics of changing a tyre it is worth mentioning some important points for getting to the side of the road safely should you have the misfortune of getting a puncture whilst driving on the road.

First of all try not to panic. It is important to keep a clear head and stay calm. Slowly take your foot off the accelerator, steering gently, and let the car slow to a stop. Avoid any sudden braking.

Before changing the tyre you should ensure that you are parked on firm, flat ground and ideally away from any traffic. If this is not the case you should attempt to drive to a more suitable spot but only if this is safe to do so. Now turn the engine off and put your hazard warning lights on. Check that the handbrake is on and put the car into first gear (or park mode on an automatic). You are now ready to change the tyre.

1. Find the spare tyre, the jack and the wheel wrench. These are in the boot of most cars. You may find instructions on the jack or somewhere near where you have located it. Read these carefully as they will tell you where to jack the vehicle.

2. Remove the hubcap or wheel cover. Then with the wheel wrench loosen the wheel nuts by turning the wrench to the left or anti-clockwise. It is important not to completely remove the nuts at this stage. As soon as the first wheel nut begins to loosen, go on to the next one and so on. The weight of the car will prevent the wheel from turning so you will be able to apply ample force to the nuts.

3. Ideally you should be able to locate the jacking points on the car by reading the owners manual or the instructions on the jack. Most cars will have a solid, reinforced area where the jack can be placed. Before jacking, it is important to ensure that the jack is on firm, level ground. You are now ready to start jacking. Remember to take it slowly and only raise the car as high as you need to get the wheel completely off the ground.

4. Now that the wheel  is off the ground you can now  remove the wheel nuts. Use the wrench or your fingers to remove the nuts. Slowly take the wheel off and place it to one side.

5. The new wheel is now ready to go on the car. Tighten the wheel nuts as tight as you can without the wheel moving. You can fully tighten the nuts when the wheel is back on the ground and off the jack.

6. Slowly lower the car down off of the jack. Take the wheel wrench and tighten the wheel nuts until they are all tight. Finally replace the wheel cover and return the jack, wheel wrench and punctured tyre to the boot.
Finally, don’t forget to have your puncture fixed as soon as possible so the tyre can act as your new spare.

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