...Get someone else to do it for you.. Seriously though, I was just about to set off for school this morning when I noticed the back tyre was flat.
I am all dressed up nice for the school run; you know nicely co-ordinated outfit, make-up, hair, huge handbag and more importantly all nice and clean, so the thought of having to get down and dirty just didn’t appeal.
But needs must.
First it is hoicking out all the paraphernalia in the boot to get at the spare tyre and crossing fingers like mad that the jack is in there too. And I come across a 18 inch by 9 inch plank of wood.
I chuck the piece of wood behind me and get on with the matter at hand. And it is while I am unsuccessfully trying to jack up the car that I realise what the wood is for: a base for the jack so it won’t sink into the gravel and spin alarmingly as the weight of the car starts to bear down.
It was at this point that my Knight In Shining Armour turned up and pointed out that I was crumpling the door sill of the car with the jack. He showed me that there is an inner sill which bears the weight of the car much better and far more safely. Problem was that you have to lay flat on the floor to see where the sill is and as I said earlier I am not keen on getting down and dirty whatever the emergency.
He then proceeded to change the wheel of car in less than ten minutes making me fume in the knowledge that I had spent twice that long damaging my car.
So I duly noted how he achieved this feat… and resolved to ensure that I always had him on call.
For those of you who would like to know how to do it properly…
Go here AA, and here Black Circle or here Bookshelf Boyfriend or even here Autotrader or failing that try these Top 20 Tips
Some new cars don’t have spare tyres they have a puncture repair kit while this is great for space saving etc in my experience it is very expensive because you destroy the wheel and land up having to by a brand new one when you might just have had to spend £10- 20 on mending the puncture. So knowing how to change a tyre can save you money.
Right so you get a puncture.
- First park safely. If you are on a motorway and not near a service station pull over to the hard shoulder and call a professional. Get yourself and any passengers out of the car and up on the bank safely away from the vehicle until help comes.
- On other roads find a safe place to park; at night, park under a light so you can see and be seen. Get everyone out of the car and in a safe place while you change the tyre.
- Check your car manual (it may even give you a step by step guide on how to change the tyre).
- Don't try to change a wheel on soft, loose or uneven ground. That’s why I carry a plank of wood around with me.
- Switch off the engine, put the hand brake on, and put it into first gear so it doesn’t start to roll away from you when you jack it up
- Pop the hazards on. If you have one, put down a warning triangle down about 30 meters away. Opening your bonnet/hood can also help indicate to other drivers that you are making repairs on the vehicle. Put on a bright jacket to stand out – particularly if it is dark.
- Put you keys in your pocket so no one can nick your car while you are trying to sort out the puncture – it has happened!
- Put a chock or something big and heavy such as a large stone in front of/behind the wheel diagonally opposite the one that is flat.
- Get the spare wheel out and put it where it will be easy to get at when you need it.
- Remove the wheel trim (if fitted) off the tyre you need to change – you may have to cut cable ties and/or lever the trim off.
- Find the jacking point, as identified in the owners manual, nearest to the wheel that you are removing. Make sure it is the sill of the car and not the door sill you are using! Many cars have molded plastic along the bottom. If you don't place the jack in the right spot, it will crack the plastic when you start lifting.
- Place the jack under the jacking point. Turn the jack handle clockwise until the top of the jack contacts the jacking point.
- Don't lift the car any further yet. You need to slacken off the wheel bolts/nuts. Sometimes you actually need to use all your body weight to do this because the garages nowadays use those air powered nut tighteners. If you do stomp on the wheel brace with your foot make sure you are holding on to something so you don’t fall over when it finally gives. Watch Out: The nuts, wheel and hub may still be hot from driving.
- Raise the jack to lift the vehicle sufficiently so that the wheel is just clear of the ground.
- Remove the slackened wheel nuts/bolts while keeping the wheel in position on the hub using a knee or toe – leave the top one until last so that both hands are free to lift the wheel away from the hub. Keep the wheel nuts together and ensure that they cannot be lost. If you do lose one or more from one wheel remove one nut off each of the other wheels in order to get you the nearest garage.
- Fitting the spare is the reverse of the removal procedure. To check you're fitting it the right way round, check that the air valve is facing out. Put all of the wheel nuts on finger-tight, and then tighten them in a criss-cross pattern with the wheel wrench until the wheel is firmly against the hub. Do not try to tighten them fully.
- Lower the vehicle to the ground,
- Tighten the nuts securely in the same criss-cross pattern.
- Replace the hubcap or wheel cover.
- Stow the damaged wheel safety. Get the wheel nuts tightened to the correct torque figure as soon as possible. Get the damaged tyre replaced or repaired as soon as possible.