Got a flat? This is how to change a wheel so you can get back on the road.
1. Safety first
“At the roadside, get your warning triangle out and hi-vis, and call emergency services straight away. The less time you can spend by the side of the road the better.”
“First of all, loosen your wheel bolts. You should have a wheel wrench in your car and a key to fit on the locking nut. If you try to loosen them once you’ve jacked the vehicle up, the wheel is just going to spin round.”
“Now jack the vehicle up. If you’ve got an axle stand, use it in case the jack fails. If you don’t have a stand, turn your alloy wheel on its side and place that just before the wheel arch: if the jack fails, the vehicle is going to land on the wheel, not your legs.”
“Take the old wheel off and put the spare one on using the same bolts. Then let the jack down.”
“Once the wheel is in contact with the ground, do all the wheel nuts up. Your car’s manual has specific torque settings for how tight you want the bolts, but you want them as tight as you can go.”
“Make sure the spare tyre has the right air pressure. You can’t drive too far on it. As soon as you can, check it at a garage or safety station.”
by Craftsman Steve Hobbs
A soldier in the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, Craftsman Hobbs maintains Army vehicles all over the world.