Whenever you think of a car issue, the first thing that pops into mind is the wheel changing one. Just the mere idea of being left in the cold by your car is a nightmare. That is why, every man should know how to change the wheels of his car.
Steps to change my wheels
It can happen to everyone, and – to be honest – you can’t prepare yourself for the unexpected. It’s nearly impossible to have everything sorted out, your car all glistening and in ship-shape for you to hit the road. Usually, as it goes with Murphy’s Law, having to change your flat tyres happens only when you least expect it. And, the worst thing is that it will most probably happen when it’s dark and raining (snowing) outside. Rest assured, here are a few tips to help you get out of this situation in a jiffy.
As they say, prepare for the best, expect the worst. If you’re a first-timer in changing tyres, then you must take some time off and consider doing a few exercises before – of course, try doing this while on a flat surface so you’ll pay attention to every little detail, and more importantly, you’ll know how your car is behaving in such situations. That is why, it is recommended to read the car manual – if the car is new. If not, remember to check that you have all the tools that you require in emergency situations.
Also, make sure that you always have a plastic sheet in your car boot. Alongside these, you might want to have an extra pair of gloves and a small lantern (just in case).
Change the wheels
It may seem obvious, but no person should be inside the car when you are attempting to change the wheels. Park the vehicle in a permitted zone. However, if you find yourself in a more unfortunate situation and you can’t move on the side, then turn on your hazard lights and leave them on during the entire process. Also, placing the handbrake (for the rear wheel) is one of the mandatory steps you must follow. In case the problematic wheel is a front one, put your vehicle in automatic transmission (park) or in manual transmission (gear). To ensure that your car won’t go running down the hill (or, worse, over your leg), block all the wheels that are sitting on the ground.
Before you lift it, you have to remove the wheel cover (and any additional caps) until all the nuts become reachable. Once you’ve placed that plastic sheet we mentioned before on the floor, underneath the jacking point, raise the vehicle and loosen the nuts with your wheel wrench until it’s easy (and safety) to pull it towards you. The way this works is that you have to find one end of you wrench on the nut and turn it counter clockwise – this applies to all lug nuts.
The car has to be high enough so you can remove the old wheel – take into consideration that the new tyre might be a bit bigger in diameter – so lift the car more than you would for the original tyre. Now it’s time to go get the spare tyre. After replacing them, you must place all the nuts in their right point. Check and double-check that everything is in order, and only then you can lower the car and tighten the nuts with your wrench. You’re nearly there. Put the hubcap on and you’re good to go.
One thing to bear in mind with these spare tyres is that some of them are only temporary ones and shouldn’t be used at speeds over 70 miles per hour. So, even if this is not your case, it is best to take your wheel to a repair shop (or recycle centre). Nonetheless, it is worth knowing which the best car tyres types are, so you can make the right decision next time you’ll buy your spare one.
European models, for instance, don’t have those studs that extend from the hub, but they’re using so-called “centring flanges” for which you’ll need a longer pin to screw into the hole (you should have that in your toolkit).