Changing a punctured tyre is a daunting task for many, but it doesn't have to be if you follow our 11 step process.
Knowing basic vehicle maintenance methods can save you a lot of grief and heart ache in the long run. Telling yourself manual labour isn’t your thing, is a foolish mind-set, and is one that will keep you stranded at the side of the road till help arrives.
Wear and tear issues are a given with most cars, more so with those that are a decade old than ones that have just rolled off the showroom floors. But being able to spot early signs of a malfunction before it leads to a breakdown, can mean the difference between heading down to your workshop over the weekend and being stranded somewhere when you need to be at an important meeting 30 minutes ago.
Over the past few months, we’ve covered a number of vehicle maintenance articles to help you in times of trouble, but what you must know above all; how to change a tyre.
It may not be rocket science, but you’d be surprised how many ‘experienced’ drivers feel completely lost after taking out the spare wheel and car jack. Well, wonder no more as here are 12 steps to help you swap tyres in no time.
Step 1: Make sure the vehicle is on a level road.
If you have parked on an inclination, apply caution when jacking the car up.
Step 2: Make sure that the vehicle's gear is in Park or for manual gearbox vehicles, 1st or reverse gear. This is only needed if you are changing one of the rear tyres. If one of the front ones needs to be swapped for the spare, you only need to pull the handbrake then make sure that the gear is in neutral.
(This method is only valid for front wheel drive cars)
(Most cars in Malaysia are front wheel drive with the exception of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi models. But if unsure, refer to your instruction manual)
Step 4: Before jacking the car up, using the wrench, loosen the wheel nuts from the wheel. Don’t remove them completely; just enough so that they don’t offer much resistance later on.
The logic behind this is, trying to loosen the nuts after the car has been jacked up will result in you turning the wheel instead of the nut. Make sure you loosen them in a star pattern meaning if it’s a 4-nut wheel; remove 1 and 4 then 2 and 3. This will make it easier to loosen all four nuts without damaging one of them.
Step 5: Take out the spare tyre. It would be inconvenient and to an extent dangerous to do this once the car has been elevated.
Step 6: Through gradual adjustments, get the jack to line up with the under body of the vehicle properly. Only then, start raising the car up further. At any point during this process the vehicle starts to feel out of balance, bring the car back down and set the jack properly.
Step 7: Make sure the car is raised to a height that is convenient enough to swap tyres. Never raise it too high as in the event that the jack should come loose from its mounting point, it will hit the ground with a higher intensity and injure you in the process.
Step 8: Loosen and remove all wheel nuts attached to the tyre.
Step 9: Place punctured tyre directly beneath the car as a safety precaution. Should the jack fail at some point during the tyre change process, the punctured tyre will be able to cushion the impact, preventing damage to the car, and you from getting injured.
Step 10: Place the spare tyre on the wheel hub and align it properly so that the wheel studs can pass through perfectly. Place all nuts back on the tyre and tighten them in the same order you removed them with. Tighten them till they stop moving.
Step 11: Bring the car back to the ground and tighten them again but this time with the wrench. Tighten them appropriately in the same order as when you took them off. This should be done to make sure the tyre lines up perfectly with the wheel hub.
That’s it. Now, when you do have a flat tyre, there’s no reason to panic. A way to reduce the chances of getting a flat tyre in the first place is to inflate them at least once a week. That way, when one tyre takes considerably longer to inflate till the recommended pressure level than the others, is a clear indication it has a puncture of some sort.
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