How to Change a Tire
How to change a tire: instructions to substitute a car wheel. A simple do-it-yourself guide to help anyone change a car tire.
Getting a flat tire is one of the few certainties in life, like taxes and death: sooner or later it happens to everyone! This is the reason why it’s important to know how to change a tire and to always be prepared with the correct equipment.
What do I need to do when I get a hole in my tire?
The easiest method would be to call roadside assistance, but the cheaper and bolder way is to change the tire yourself. It’s for this reason that you need to know in advance how to change a tire, so that you can always be ready if in need; especially if you are a girl, let’s debunk the myth that women and car maintenance don’t mix… let’s make ourselves count!
Changing a tire, overview
You need (indispensable): jack, wrench for tire bolts, spare tire, warning triangles, reflective safety vest.
1) Put on the reflective safety vest.
2) Position the warning triangles 50 meters (about 70 steps) away from the car.
3) Find, near the wheel to be substituted, the point where you’ll raise the car. Place the jack, and before using it, loosen the wheel bolts slightly.
4) Jack up the car, and once the wheel is raised, continue loosening the bolts. Once the bolts have all been loosened, take off the wheel.
5) Put on the spare tire and tighten the bolts progressively in an X formation. The bolts must also be loosened following an X pattern. Once the wheel has been secured in place, you can lower the vehicle.
How to change a tire, what the law requires
If you get a hole in your tire in the middle of a highway, the first thing to do is to turn on your emergency blinkers and find a service spot or a place where you can pull over. Put on the reflective safety vest and position the emergency signal triangles 50 meters away from the car. To calculate a distance of 50 meters, you can count 70 steps.
In your car you should always have a reflective safety vest and the triangles. During in-depth checks, the police could ask you to open your trunk to confirm the presence of safety triangles. If, during an in-depth check by the police or other government forces, no safety triangle is found in your vehicle, you will be fined approximately 75 euro. If you still don’t have these two safety devices, you can check out these three useful links from Amazon.
Reflective high-visibility safety vest
Price: 6,92 € with free shipping
Price: 7,20 € with free shipping
Safety kit compliant with DIN 13164
The kit is composed of first-aid box, reflective safety vest and triangle. It costs 19,99 € including shipping.
N.B.: traveling with a first-aid box aboard your vehicle is obligatory in some countries of the European Union, so if you are traveling within the EU you should keep one in the glove compartment of your car.
How to change a wheel, required gear
- wrench for bolts
- spare tire
- gloves, newspaper, and a rag (optional)
The gear that you’ll need for changing a wheel can be found in the trunk of your car: jack, wrench for bolts, and spare tire.
How to substitute a pierced car tire
The use of gloves is strongly advised, especially for women, who could also use a small wooden board for extra help. Before raising the car, you should loosen the bolts a bit with the wrench, remembering that the bolts are loosened by turning them counterclockwise. You can spread out some newspaper sheets on the street in order to protect your knees from getting dirty. Regarding the rag, it could be useful for protecting the car body from the jack, or simply for cleaning your hands at the end of the task.
After having loosened the four bolts, you need to activate the jack. You don’t need to raise the car so much, raising by only a few centimeters is enough to proceed with the tire change. The wooden board could come in handy if the street surface is not stable: positioning the board between the base of the jack and the street will allow you to increase stability and work safely.
The jack should be placed near the flat tire. After having raised the car, you can proceed with the complete removal of the bolts and the extraction of the wheel. Changing a tire is not really so difficult, the majority of the job is already done, now you only need to put on the new wheel.
Often, the wheel rim has one different hole in it to help the user in the operation of mounting it. Observing the rim of the spare tire, find the “characteristic” hole, it will be the one that you’ll need to put the first bolt in.
Start tightening the bolts with your hands –anyway, the gloves will manage to keep you from getting dirty!– and then proceed with the wrench. Lower the car and remove the jack. Once the jack has been removed, you can secure the wheel by tightening further with the wrench, you can push with your foot on the handle of the wrench: be careful, don’t use all of your weight or too much force, the wrench could bounce back at you and hurt you. Now all you have to do is retrieve the triangle and put all the instruments back in the trunk. Don’t leave the flat tire on the side of the street, it can probably be repaired.
To understand better how to change a flat tire, we invite you to watch this video.
The guide “How to Change a Tire” from GreenIdeas.net is dedicated to all the women behind the wheel.
Translated by Raymond Bellon.
Published by da Anna De Simone