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A Simple Guide to Changing a Flat Tyre

white car with Flat Tyre

It’s inevitable that every car owner will be faced with a flat tyre at some stage during their driving life, and while it may seem challenging to replace the punctured tyre with a spare, it is actually a relatively simple process. First, make sure you are in a safe place, and that your car is on a level surface away from traffic and road hazards, then you can follow the below steps.

Ensure the car is in park (or in gear for a manual) and that the handbrake is on. Evacuate any passengers from the car and turn on the hazard lights to warn other drivers.

Locate the spare wheel and necessary tools

In addition to the spare wheel, you will need:

  • Wrench/Wheel Brace – for removing the wheel nuts
  • Jack – for elevating the car
  • Wheel chock – to stop the car from rolling when jacked up
  • Wheel nut key – if locking nuts are fitted
  • Vehicle owner’s manual

You should be able to find the jack and tools with the spare wheel and tyre. In most vehicles, this is in the boot, however the owner’s manual will tell you where to find them if you are unsure.

Position the wheel chocks

These prevent the car from rolling while jacked up. Bricks or large rocks can do the job if you don’t have dedicated chocks. Position a chock on the opposite wheel to the one with a puncture. Use chocks for both front/rear wheels if you have them.

Loosen the wheel nuts

It’s easier, and safer to do this while the car is on the ground. Place the wheel brace or wrench on one of the wheel nuts and, with a straight arm and a straight back, apply force to the nut in an anticlockwise direction. Loosen the nuts to the point where they can be turned by hand, however, don’t remove them completely. If the nuts are tight, using your foot on the wheel brace can help you apply additional force.

Jack up the car

The owner’s manual will tell you where the jacking points are on your specific car. It’s important that these points are used because they’re strong enough to hold up the car. Jacking beneath the wrong part of the car is dangerous and can cause damage. Once the jack is in the correct position, slowly turn the handle clockwise until the flat tyre is about five centimetres off the ground.

Remember: NEVER get under a car when it is on a jack.

Remove the flat tyre

Remove the wheel nuts, then gently pull the tyre towards you until it comes free.

Mount the spare tyre

Line up the bolt holes of the spare wheel with the wheel studs or holes on the car. Slide the tyre on and then tighten all the wheel nuts by hand. Start with the bottom nut, as this will hold the wheel in place. Using your hand or wheel brace, gently tighten the wheel nuts – it’s safest to fully tighten them later, when the car has been lowered.

Slightly lower the car and tighten the bolts

Use the jack to drop the car down slightly, so that the spare tyre is in contact with the ground.

Now use the wrench to fully tighten the wheel nuts.

Fully lower the car and remove the jack

Lower the jack completely and slide it out from under the car. It’s a good idea to give the wheel nuts a final check for tightness. Place the flat tyre, tools, and jack back in position, you have successfully changed your tyre!

Check the spare tyre pressure

If you have a tyre pressure gauge, check the spare wheel is fully inflated. Alternatively, drive to the closest petrol station and use their gauge. If required, inflate the tyre to the recommend pressure, as outlined in the owner’s manual. It is also important to note that spare tyres generally do not have a tyre pressure monitoring sensor fitted. If your vehicle has a tyre pressure monitoring system, you may receive alerts that the pressure is incorrect. 

Take your punctured tyre for repair

Spare tyres aren’t usually designed for long-term use, they are meant for emergencies only. At the first opportunity you get, visit a local tyre centre, and have your flat tyre repaired or replaced.

Need More Advice About TPMS?

Safe T Tyre is the trusted supplier of tyre pressure monitoring systems in Australia. You can rely on us for high-quality safety tyre products, affordable prices, and expert advice. For more information, get in touch with us by calling 1800 876 700 or purchase your TPMS online now.