Me and car tyres are an awful combination! I have the WORST luck when it comes to them! Punctures, flats, bulging and general wear and tear. Just sometimes, even when they’re brand new, they just don’t last long!
A couple of months ago, I was on my way to work on my usual route. I was pretty relaxed; it was the start of the week but summer! Someone else however, was clearly in a rush. A white van came haring round the corner, over on my side of the road. I acted quickly and darted to the left. We never hit, but the dip off the road caused a huge bang toward to the front left side of my car. I continued to drive and it seemed okay.
It wasn’t until I was a short distance down the road when I realised I now had a flat! I was in a black hole of signal and couldn’t get hold of anyone. I knew I had a spare in the boot, and had no choice but to change it myself. I managed it all okay, but only because I follower vital safety rules.
Here’s what you need to know if you have to change your tyre, ROADSIDE!
Stop in a safe place
Find somewhere safe to pull up. Take it slow and avoid corners and on the brow or a hill. If you are in a single lane, drivers will have to try and pass you whilst you are sorting out your tyre, so be considerate. Make sure you are not putting yourself or other drivers in danger to where you pull over. REMEMBER – If you are on the hard shoulder or unable to come off the main road safely, it may be best to call a breakdown service.
As soon as you realise there is something wrong, stick on your hazards – even if you are still driving to find somewhere safe to pull over. Don’t panic. You are alerting other drivers that you have a problem; you are doing the best thing for you and your fellow drivers! Once you’ve found somewhere safe, move your passengers to a safe place, well away from the road and out of the car.
Grab your handbook and other items!
To change the tyre, you will need various objects including your vehicle jack, wheel wrench, spare wheel and vehicle handbook.
Your car handbook will tell you how to attach the jack to your car. DO NOT attach the jack anywhere other than the correct jacking points. These will be listed in your handbook. Attaching the jack in the wrong place can cause damage to your car and can result in it collapsing.
Also : If your handbook has different advice to this post, FOLLOW YOUR HANDBOOK!
Before doing anything
There are a couple of things you need to check before you even start the process of changing your tyre.
Make sure your spare wheel has enough tread and is properly inflated.
Make sure you’re not on soft, loose of uneven ground – this could cause problems when jacking your car up otherwise or even injury!
Switch off your engine and apply the handbrake / engage first gear if you have an automatic.
Plan ahead: Remove the spare wheel, loosen the wheel nuts, place the jack in the lifting position closest to the wheel and lay your spare on the ground and close to your spot.
Lifting your car
Okay, so now you’re ready to lift your car. Raise the jack until your wheel is off the ground. Once your wheel is cleared, stop.
Now, you need to remove the loose wheel nuts. Try and keep the wheel in position, so hold with you knee of foot! Tip: Leave the top one until last. This means you can use both hands to life off the wheel from the hub.
Fitting the spare
This is pretty much the removal bit, in reverse!
Secure the wheel by loosely refitting the top wheel nut FIRST! Tighten the other wheel nuts by hand, in stages and in diagonal sequence.
Lower the jack carefully until the wheel just touches the ground and won’t turn. Now is the time to tighten the wheel nits fully with the wheel wrench. Again, do this in a diagonal sequence. Once it’s all secured, lower your car completely.
What I learnt
Once I was back on the road and on my way to work, I was pretty relieved to have sorted it myself. I still needed to buy a new tyre, and have my spare looked at to make sure it was up for the job, should I need It again. Aside from learning that I can change a tyre if needed, I knew this meant I should be keeping a closer eye on my car, especially the tyres!
I have mentioned previously, but considering they are the only part of your vehicle that has contact with the road, it’s best that our tyres are in good condition. Remember to check regularly your tyre pressure, tread and fittings. Make sure to put your car through regular servicing and MOT’s to ensure all aspects of your car are road worthy.
My biggest advice would be to make sure you spend good money on your tyres. Whilst cheap tyres may look like they will do the same job, they can cost you in the long run, especially with things like punctures and tread!
If your spare is a ‘skinny’ spare, you will have restrictions. These usually include a 50mph limit and will need to replace with a normal tyre as soon as possible. Once you’re back on the road, get to a garage and replace as soon as possible. Look no further for good quality tyres in Northampton- Visit Calmac Tyres Autocentre. Hopefully a pretty helpful guide on how you can change your tyre when needed, roadside and safely!