A tire explosion can be stressful, so make sure you’re in a safe spot and in a calm mood before following our tire-changing instructions.
First and foremost, never attempt to change a tire if your personal safety is in jeopardy or if you lack the necessary gear.
If you are in a secure location, have the necessary tools, and are confident in your ability to change the wheel, the good news is that a spare wheel is the most reliable option to get back on the road. A narrow space-saver or a full-size spare will be included with your vehicle. The procedure for changing a wheel, however, is just the same.
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Make absolutely sure you have a safe parking spot before you begin. It’s preferable to go longer and risk destroying the wheel rim than to halt in a potentially unsafe location, such as on a small road.
When parking, turn on your hazard lights. If you have one, put it on and position your warning triangle to warn oncoming traffic.
It’s best to consult your car’s owner’s manual first.
You’ll need the following items in addition to the spare wheel:
- Wrench – to remove wheel nuts
- Jack – to lift the automobile off the ground
- Wheel chock – to keep the car from rolling when jacked up (bricks can be used instead)
- Car manual – for reference
- Wheel nut key – if locking nuts are installed (e.g. on jacking points)
It’s also a good idea to have:
- Torch – for late-night work (check batteries regularly)
- Gloves – since the wheels will be dusty
- Reflective jacket – so you will be seen
- Short board of wood – to use as a flat surface to stabilize the jack
- Tire pressure gauge – to make sure the new tire is fully inflated
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How To Change A Tire
1. Get the car ready.
Apply the handbrake and exit the vehicle with all occupants.
Remove the spare wheel and any other tools from the boot.
2. Set the wheel chocks in place.
While the car is jacked up, shocks keep it from rolling.
Place a chock on the opposite wheel from the punctured one.
Put a chock behind the right-rear wheel if your left-front tire suffers a puncture, for example.
A chock in front of the right-front tire is required if the left-rear tire is flat.
If you have them, use chocks for both the front and rear wheels (as needed).
If you don’t have a specialized chock, bricks or large pebbles will suffice.
3. Remove the wheel nuts and loosen them.
Whilst the car is on the ground, it’s easier – and safer – to do this.
A plastic wheel trim may need to be levered off first.
To free the nuts, crank the wheel wrench anti-clockwise until they can be turned by hand (warning: they may be difficult to loosen).
But don’t get rid of them totally just yet.
4. Raise the automobile.
All cars have specific jacking points; check your owner’s manual to find out where they are.
Place the jack on the side of the vehicle, next to the ruptured tire.
A tiny plank of wood placed under the jack will aid in its stability.
Slowly raise the car until the flat tire is 10-15 cm off the ground.
5. Get rid of the flat tire.
Remove the wheel nuts completely, and then pull the tire towards you until it comes free.
Place it on the ground flat.
6. Install the spare tire
Raise the spare wheel off the ground and place it on the protruding hub bolts or in line with the wheel nut slots (word of caution: this is a big job).
Reinstall the wheel nuts and manually tighten them.
7. Lower the vehicle and secure the bolts.
Drop the car down slightly with the jack so that the spare tire is in contact with the ground.
Tighten the wheel nuts completely using the wrench now.
8. Lower the automobile completely.
Remove the jack and fully lower the automobile to the ground.
Consider double-checking the wheel nuts for tightness.
Place the jack and the other tire in the boot of your vehicle, together with the rest of your gear.
The old wheel will take up more space in the boot if your car has a space saver.
9. Make sure the spare tire is properly inflated.
Use a tire pressure gauge to make sure the spare wheel is fully inflated if you have one.
Drive cautiously to a gas station and use the gauge there instead.
If necessary, inflate the tire to the recommended pressure stated in the owner’s manual.
10. Get your punctured tire fixed.
At the first chance, take your ruptured wheel to a garage or a tire shop.
They’ll tell you whether you should repair it or replace it.
Don’t drive on a space-saving spare wheel for any longer than is absolutely essential; they’re only for emergencies.
If the tire cannot be repaired and you must replace it, stay tuned for our comprehensive advice on how to purchase tires and what to look for first.
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If it’s time for a car checkup, stop by Suzuki Fort Motors and book their Home Service to have your vehicle inspected more thoroughly.