MOTORING NEWS - Motorists rarely stop to think about the importance of tyres, except when they literally have to stop to change a flat tyre.
Tyres are as important to the vehicle as your legs and feet are to you. In the same way a bad knee or a twisted ankle hampers your movement, a faulty or smooth tyre impacts on a car. And just as a weak knee will at some time lead to a bad fall, a worn out tyre is sure to cause an accident.
Looking after your tyres is all important, but even a brand new, high quality tyre may pick up a screw and then you need the skills to replace the flat.
So, the first rule to ensure that you don't get stuck on the side of the road, leaving you vulnerable and dependent on strangers for hours on end, is to ensure that the air pressure of your spare tyre is perfect.
Have it checked every time you check the pressure of your other tyres. The second rule is to have all the tyre change tools in the boot.
• A spare tyre
• A carjack
• A tyre wrench
• Handy extras:
• A torch, raincoat, knee mat, gloves, stop blocks
It's never a nice feeling when you hear the thud of a faulty tyre as your steering wheel starts to shake - a sure sign of a flat tyre.
Stop as far away from traffic as possible on an even surface. Put on your hazards. Ensure the car is in Park and pull up the hand brake. Put a stop block in front of each tyre or use rocks. Take your spare and tools from the boot.
1. Before raising the car, you need to loosen the wheel nuts with the wrench. Turn the wrench anti-clockwise. Do not remove them.
2. Position the jack. Every car has a carjack point next to every wheel. It must line up with the groove of the jack. Insert the jack lever firmly in place and turn it clockwise to raise the flat off the ground. The car and the jack must be at a 90º angle. If it's wobbly, lower the car and reposition the jack.
3. Once the tyre is off the ground, remove the nuts completely (keep them safe!) and take off the tyre.
4. But the spare on the car aligned with the bolts and replace and loosely secure the nuts.
5. Lower the car onto the road by turning the jack lever anti clockwise.
6. Tighten each of the 4 nuts turning the wrench clockwise.
Changing a tyre should not take more than 15 minutes. Have the damaged tyre fixed or replaced asap as the next flat may be waiting around the next bend.
TIP: If the nuts are very tight and real hard nuts to crack, stand on the lever of the wrench to provide that first push needed to loosen them up. A hammer to hit it with will also come in handy.
Check out the video below, Wessel van Heerden shows you how it's done.
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