How to change a car tyre safely

23 November 2017

There’s nothing worse than driving towards your destination only for you to feel the bumpity-bump of your tyre slowly unravelling itself and grinding to a halt on the busiest of motorways, or even worse, a lonely country road in the middle of the night.

Thankfully, most tyre issues can be resolved in the short-term by changing them with the spare tyre in the back of your car.

Wait, you do have a spare tyre?  Don’t you?

For those who are prepared and ride the open road with a backup wheel, read on and find out how to save yourself from a dreaded puncture.

What to do when you car suffers from a punctured tyre

Preparation and safety

As we’ve already mentioned, preparation is vital to ensure that you won’t be caught short when you need to act.  It’s also of paramount importance that any step you take, either before, during or after the process of changing a tyre takes safety seriously at all times.  Make sure that yours or anyone else’s personal safety isn’t at risk and that your hazard lights are on.

If your car requires a specialised hubcap key in order to get to your wheel nuts, ensure that you know where it is and that it’s safely stored in your vehicle.  If you don’t have your hubcap key then there’s no way that you can take your punctured or damaged tyre off of your car, causing you further hassle in the long-run.

Another good idea is to make sure that you have a fully charged torch to hand should you break down at night.  Most people will be able to use their smartphone as a torch but keeping a backup just in case your phone doesn’t have enough battery is a good idea.

You can’t change a tyre if you don’t have the right tools.  Ensure that your car jack, wrench and any other piece of equipment you might need is not only fit for purpose but also in good condition.  If it’s not, undergoing the task of changing a tyre could become dangerous.  Better to be safe than sorry.

How to change a car tyre

How to change a tyre, step-by-step

Now that we’ve established that you’re in a safe environment, no one is in immediate danger, you have enough light and the right tools for the job; it’s time to change your tyre. 

  1. First off, ensure that no one is inside the vehicle and that the handbrake has been pulled up to stop the vehicle from moving. 
  2. Place a heavy object (a brick or a rock would be good) on either side of the tyre that needs to be changed to stop it from rolling. 
  3. Remove the hubcap (you may need a special key in order to do this) in order to expose the wheel nuts 
  4. Position the Car Jack underneath the car next to the wheel and secure it to the car. DO NOT lift the car, yet. 
  5. With the Jack in place, loosen the wheel nuts to break the resistance. 
  6. Go back to the Jack and lift the tyre off the floor by a couple of inches so that you have enough room to remove and replace the tyres. You can now remove the heavy object that you earlier placed either side of the tyre. 
  7. Finish off removing the wheel nuts so they come off completely and then carefully pull the damaged tyre away from the hub. 
  8. After placing the old tyre in a safe location, place the spare tyre onto the hub. 
  9. Fix the wheel nuts back on, ensuring that the fit is tight and snug, allowing the spare tyre to be connected correctly. 
  10. Refit the hubcap and then lower the car back down gently with the Jack. 
  11. Place the broken tyre where your spare tyre was and you can get back on the road again.
  12. Finally, take the punctured tyre for repair so you can get back to having a full complement of tyres.

How to stop a puncture happening in the first place

The best way to fix a car tyre is to never have to fix it in the first place.  The only way to achieve this is to rigorously manage your tyres, checking that they have enough air and don’t have any small rips or tears that could lead to a full puncture later on down the line.

Sometimes though, even by having the best possible preparation we can’t prevent a puncture.  So, why not have a practice run?  Take some time after work or at the weekend to change your tyre yourself.  The process won’t take too much time and in the long-run may save you a lengthy wait on the side of the road.

Getting on with your journey

No one wants to ever have to deal with a flat tyre, nonetheless, it’s something that almost everyone will have to go through at some point.  By preparing and knowing what to do when the time comes, you can minimise the impact it has on your life and those affected, allowing you to get on with minimal disruption.

A punctured tyre has the potential to ruin your entire day, so try to prepare ahead so that it doesn’t.


Tagged with:

  • Car Safety
  • Car Tyre
  • Change Tyre
  • Flat Tyre
Author -
Guest Contributor

This article was written by a subject matter expert from the Thomson Local team. We also welcome guest contributions from external writers. If you would like to get involved in the Thomson Local blog just send us an email to:

View Profile
Post a comment
Privacy Policy