Replacing Punctured Tyres : Skill Decoded

A flat tyre is one event that can hit you at the least auspicious of times like You may be on your way to an important client meeting or a must-attend family function. And in case you don't know how to replace one, the embarrassment can be a hard pill to swallow. This makes ‘Replacing Punctured Tyres’ an important skill to have for a rainy day. In this blog, we break the entire process in a few easy-to-follow steps for readers in case they happen to encounter the misfortune in near future.

Get to The Safe Zone

The first and the foremost thing to do when you have got a punctured tyre is to slowly and safely get the car to a straight and leveled space on a hard shoulder or the emergency stopping lane (left side in India). Refrain from driving too far on a punctured tyre as the wheel rims may be damaged. Next to alert other traffic on the road turn on your hazard lamps and place the warning triangle (if you have one ) 10 feet behind your vehicle.

Setting Up

First things first, apply parking brakes to prevent forward or back rolling. If your front tyre is punctured place a heavy block of stone behind the rear tyre or if rear tyre is punctured place the stone behind the rear tyre. In case you have passengers inside the car, ask them to disembark before replacing the tyre.

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Needed Tool Kit

Get the toolkit and the spare tyre out. The toolkit in most cars is placed under the floor of the boot. In case you are unable to find one, refer owner’s manual which contains pictorial diagrams and will be more than handy while replacing the tyre too. Once found, take out the car’s screw-jack and the spare tyre.

 Once all things are in place including the owner’s manual follow the steps below to replace the punctured with the spare tyre and hit the road again.

Step 1: Wheel Nuts

Remove any hubcaps or cover on the punctured tyre. Next use wheel spanner to loosen the wheel nuts. To do this fit the spanner mouth on the nuts and turn it in an anti-clockwise direction with a good force. Don't shy away from using foot or even jumping on the spanner. In case you are still in doubt, use the owner’s manual which explains the process in a pictorial way. Also, remember to only loosen and not remove the nuts completely.

 Step 2: Jack Up

Post loosening the nuts, place the vehicle-jack at the jacking point under the car’s floor near the wheel. In most cars, an arrow near the wheel indicates jacking point. One can also refer the owner’s manual for precise location. Next mate the vehicle-jack perfectly to the jack points and rotate the spindle clockwise. The vehicle/car will start rising slowly. Continue rotating till the tyre is around 10-15 cm off the ground and there is enough space for the taller inflated spare tyre.

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Step 3: Kick Out

Unscrew the wheel nuts completely and keep them aside safely. Next, remove the punctured tyre by holding it by the treads and pulling it outwards. Some tyres do require an occasional kick owing to a rusty stuck wheel. A couple of hard kicks on the sides will eventually make the tyre loosen up.

Step 4: Replace

Once you have removed the punctured tyre, the next and most important step is to align the spare tyre with the wheel bolts. For SUVs/MUVs you might need a hand or two. But for small cars, aligning the spare tyre must not be too difficult. A good method to do so is to first align only two bolts with the wheel. Once aligned push gently until all the bolts are visible on the spare tyre slots.

Next, use one arm to hold the aligned spare tyre in the wheel hub. With the other hand put the wheel nuts back on the wheel bolts and tighten them by turning them in the clockwise direction. Be firm but do not apply too much force while tightening.

Step 5: The Final touch

We are almost done. Lower the vehicle slightly once the spare tyre has been fitted properly. Also, tighten the nuts further using the wheel spanner. Remember to tighten the wheel nuts either in a diagonal or criss-cross manner. Next, Lower the vehicle completely and remove the vehicle-jack completely from the vehicle base. Finally, Re-tighten the wheels nuts and re-install the hubcap or wheel caps

Once rechecked and confirmed, its time to wrap-up. Place the punctured tyre on the spare-tyre slot in the boot. Next place all tools back into their adequate housings. Also, check that the tools are secured and not lose in their housings. This would prevent any unwanted jingle and jangle.

Last but not least, remember to stop by the nearest tyre repair shop and get the punctured tyre repaired. Also, maintain permissible speed limits in sync with the one mentioned on the spare tyre.