Everything You Need to Know About Changing a Tyre

Knowing how to change a tyre is an essential skill for every driver. It not only prepares you to confidently handle roadside emergencies but also ensures that you’re not left stranded on the side of the road, waiting for help.

Mastering this skill can significantly reduce the downtime and costs associated with calling for roadside assistance services.

Know Your Vehicle

Before tackling a tyre change, familiarise yourself with your vehicle’s specific needs, which can be found in your owner’s manual. Key details to note include:

  • Recommended Jack Lifting Points: Identify safe spots for lifting your vehicle to prevent damage and ensure safety.
  • Suitable Jack Type: Learn which jack is compatible with your car to support it properly during a lift.
  • Correct Tyre Pressure: Check the manual for ideal tyre pressure levels to ensure optimal performance and safety.

Understanding these points can ensure a smoother and safer tyre-changing process.

Always Be Prepared for a Car Tyre Change

Being prepared for tyre troubles means you’re never caught off guard. Before disaster strikes, it’s important to equip your vehicle with:

  • A Spare Tyre: Regularly inspect its condition and ensure it’s properly inflated.
  • A Sturdy Jack: Verify it can support your vehicle’s weight.
  • Wheel Brace or Lug Wrench: Essential for loosening and tightening the nuts.
  • Wheel Chocks or Wood Pieces: Use these to prevent your vehicle from rolling.
  • Reflective Warning Signs: Keep these handy for night tyre changes to alert oncoming traffic.
  • Waterproof Mat/Cardboard: This provides comfort when changing tyres on wet surfaces.
  • Flashlight: Just in case you need to change your tyre in a poorly lit area at night.

Flat Tyre Safety

Safety should always be your top priority, both for you and everyone else on the road. In the event of a flat tyre:

  • Find a Safe Spot: Slow down gradually and steer your vehicle to a level area, a safe distance from traffic.
  • Alert Others: Turn on your hazard lights to alert passing drivers.
  • Secure the Vehicle: Apply the parking brake and place wheel chocks under the tyres opposite to the flat to prevent rolling.
  • Assess the Situation: If you’re on a busy freeway or feel unsafe changing the tyre yourself, don’t hesitate to call for roadside assistance.

These steps ensure that you prioritise safety above all when dealing with a tyre change.

You Have a Flat Tyre – What Should You Do?

  1. Loosen the Wheel Nuts: Start by loosening the wheel nuts a turn or two with the wheel brace or lug wrench, but don’t remove them completely yet.
  2. Lift the Vehicle: Use the jack to lift your car. Place it under the car’s recommended lifting point and raise the vehicle until the flat tyre is about five centimetres off the ground. Remember, never place any part of your body under the vehicle while it is lifted.
  3. Remove the Flat Tyre: Now fully remove the loosened wheel nuts and carefully take off the flat tyre. Lay it flat on the ground to avoid it rolling away.
  4. Lower the Vehicle and Secure the Nuts: Gently lower the car back to the ground. Once the vehicle is fully lowered, use the brace to tighten the wheel nuts firmly, again following a criss-cross pattern.

Once the Tyre Change is Complete

After successfully changing your tyre, follow these important steps:

  • Check the Pressure: Especially if you’ve installed a space-saver (temporary) spare, verify its pressure immediately. Remember, these tyres have specific speed and distance limitations.
  • Pack Away: Return the flat tyre and all tools used during the change back to their respective places in your vehicle.
  • Regularly Check the Changed Tyre: After driving for about 10 to 20 kilometres, find a safe place to stop and recheck the wheel nuts’ tightness.
  • Repair The Damaged Tyre: It’s important to get professional help with a repair or replacement for the flat tyre so that it’s available next time you need it.

Highfields Mechanical for Wheels and Tyres – Toowoomba Experts

Changing a tyre might initially appear intimidating, but it becomes simple with the appropriate tools and know-how. Should you encounter any issues or suspect your wheel has suffered damage, Highfields Mechanical is ready to support all your automotive needs. Whether it’s a simple tyre change or a more thorough wheel alignment service, our team is here to help.

For expert advice, professional repairs, or to schedule a service, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact our friendly team at (07) 4646 1780 or complete our contact form today.

Your Complete Car Maintenance Checklist

Over time, cars undergo wear and tear that requires regular checks and maintenance to ensure safe handling and longevity. Basic car maintenance helps identify issues before they become more serious problems which could leave you stuck on the side of the road.

Car owners should follow these easy car maintenance tips alongside their annual general car service:

Engine Oil Check

Engine oil lubricates moving parts, reducing damage caused from heat and friction. It is important to check your engine oil regularly to ensure you aren’t running low. Engine oil will degrade over time, even if the vehicle is left stationary. It is recommended to change your oil every 6 months or 10,000 kilometres to prevent damage to the engine.

Check Car Tyre Pressure

Your tyres play a critical role in the safe handling of your car, acting as the only point of contact between your vehicle and the road. Driving with the incorrect air pressure can affect handling, fuel efficiency and tyre longevity.
Check the label inside your driver side door or your vehicle’s owner manual if you are unsure of your car’s ideal tyre pressure. Service stations typically have tyre pressure gauges that are free to use. It is recommended that you perform a tyre pressure check every three months or before and after a long trip.

Replace Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers are essential for protecting you during poor weather conditions by maintaining visibility. With time, wiper blades may deteriorate, causing them to tear, crack or even split.
Damaged wipers can affect your ability to see hazards on the road in poor weather and can also scratch your windshield. Observe your wiper blades regularly for signs of damage and replace as soon as it is needed.

Check Your Car Fluids

Coolant and brake fluid are the most common fluids that require topping up. You should check your car’s coolant levels every few months or before a long trip. As part of your regular scheduled service, your brake fluid will be checked. If you notice your engine temperature gauge rising, pull over where it is safe to do so and check your coolant levels once your engine has cooled down.
Your owner’s manual has helpful information regarding the types of fluid and recommended maintenance period specific to your vehicle.

Replace Air Filters

Over time, contaminants can build in the filter and reduce the quantity of air flow into your engine. This can lead to issues with your car’s performance, may decrease the cabin’s air quality and increase your fuel consumption. Air filters also trap debris and dust, preventing them from entering the cabin. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual can provide helpful instructions on how and when to replace air filters.

Schedule a Professional Car Service

Following the above maintenance tips can help protect your vehicle, but does not substitute the first-hand experience of a professional mechanic. It is recommended to schedule a general car service every six months or 10,000 kilometres driven.

The experts here at Highfields Mechanical are committed to serving you and your car’s needs with transparency and passion. Contact our friendly team at (07) 4646 1780 or complete our contact form today.