Changing a tyre doesn't have to be a struggle, and you don’t need to call in a professional to take care of it. The truth is that, like most things, if you follow a few super-simple steps, you can change your car tyres better than the pros.
Car Tyre Change: The Basics
Before we get down and dirty with the steps of how to change tyres, let's address the basics.
Here's a little secret -- cars are designed so that anyone can do minor repairs like changing tyres. No matter where you stop, you should have all you need right in your boot. If you have SEATs runflat tyres, drive to a safer place like a petrol station and change your tyres there.
Know the Tools
If it's got a handle or a crank, it's probably a jack. But just to be sure, here's a handy list of all the important tools that you’ll be using.
Here's some equipment that should already be in the boot that you will need:
- Wrench - to remove wheel nuts
- Jack - to elevate the vehicle
- Wheel nut key - if your vehicle uses lock nuts
- Vehicle handbook - for reference on jacking points
- Wheel chocks - to prevent the vehicle from moving about while lifted up
At SEAT, we are all about making tasks like changing a car's tyres as easy as possible. To this end, we supply the basics, plus some additional tools specifically made for particular SEAT models, like the tyre mobility set. While some of these are optional extras, like our reduced rolling resistance tires, they are definitely worth the extra cents. Let's take a look at the tool kit for the brand-new SEAT Ibiza:
- Jack - used to lift the car off the ground
- Hook - for removing the hubcaps or wheel covers
- Box spanner - for removing wheel bolts
- Reversible screwdriver with a handle - for use on the wheel bolts
- Towing ring
- Adapter - for anti-theft wheel bolts
Whether you spring for our tyre protection or not, we at SEAT are personally invested in your safety. For this reason, we are a tad more generous with our safety-focused optional extras. After all, it can be a little hairy changing a tyre on the side of the road.
Never start your engine when the car is lifted off the ground. Doing so could result in an accident. Also, make sure you’re in a safe place, away from all other traffic, before you start changing your tyre.
How To Change a Tyre
Here are the 8 simple steps you can follow to change your tyre:
1.- Prepare the Vehicle
All passengers should be out of the vehicle, and the handbrake should be applied. Remove the spare wheel and any tools required from the boot.
2.- Set the Wheel Chocks in Place
Chocks prevent the car from moving about when you jack it up. If the left front tyre is punctured, place a chock behind the right rear wheel. If you don’t have dedicated chocks, you can use large rocks or bricks to keep the car steady.
3.- Unscrew the Wheel Nuts
While the car is still on the ground, it's easier and safer to loosen the nuts from the punctured tyre. Do this by turning the wheel wrench counterclockwise. Keep in mind, these nuts may be difficult to loosen, so you may need to use some strength. Also, you just want to loosen the nuts but not remove them entirely.
4.- Lift the Car with the Jack
All cars have dedicated jacking points, and the car's handbook will tell you where they are located. Ideally, the jack should be positioned near the punctured wheel on the side of the car. Slowly lift the car until the tyre is 10-15 cm above the ground. Then you can completely remove the wheel nuts and remove the flat tyre.
5. Mount the Spare Wheel
Slide the spare wheel onto the protruding bolts. If your car doesn't have bolts, make sure the wheel aligns with the wheel nut slots. Take care when you lift the wheel off the ground, as it can be heavy. Then tighten the wheel nuts by hand.
6. Tighten the bolts and lower the car
Lower the car with the jack, so the spare tyre rests on the ground. Once it’s on the ground, you can tighten the wheel nuts completely with the wrench.
7. Check the spare tyre pressure
Once the tyre is on the car, you should check the air pressure using a tyre pressure gauge, if you have one. You can also drive carefully to the nearest petrol station to use their gauge.
8. Repair your punctured tyre
Your punctured wheel should be taken to a garage or tyre outlet at the earliest opportunity. A specialist will recommend whether a tyre replacement is necessary or whether it can be repaired. Spare tyres are only meant for emergencies - you shouldn't drive on them for long periods.