How to change a flat tyre?

Step-by-step guide to changing a tyre

We’re always ready to help you if you get a puncture. But if you’d like to change the wheel yourself, here’s a  general step-by-step guide of how to replace a flat tyre.

Make sure you check the manufacturer’s instructions in your vehicle handbook for details specific to your car.

Read carefully all off the instructions

What you’ll need:

  •  Spare wheel – This needs to have a legal, inflated tyre. Check your spare regularly to make sure it’s fully-inflated and in good working order.
  •  Car handbook – It’ll have instructions specific to your vehicle, like where to attach the jack.
  •  A jack – Ideally the manufacturer’s jack that’s designed for your car.
  •  Wheel brace or wrench – Make sure this fits the wheel nuts or bolts.
  •  Locking wheel nut key – If your car has locking nuts or bolts, you (or a mechanic) will need the key to undo them.
  •  Alignment tool – Some cars with wheel bolts come with an alignment tool to help you fit the wheel.
  •  Wheel chocks or wedges – These should be in the kit with your spare wheel. If not, use blocks of wood or similar.
  •  Gloves – It’s a dirty job and there’s a risk of cutting yourself, especially if your old tyre is badly damaged.

If you fell unsure changing your tyre, leave it to the professional

Step 1. – Secure the car

  • Switch off your engine.
  • Turn on your hazard lights.
  • Pull the handbrake on and put the vehicle into first gear.
  • Put it in park if you’re driving an automatic.
  • Make sure all passengers are out of the car and in a safe place away from traffic.
  • Take all the tools you need out of the car, including the spare wheel.
  • Put chocks in front of and behind the wheel that’s diagonally opposite the one you’re replacing.

Step 2. – Loosen the wheel nuts

Before you jack your car up, check that you can undo the wheel nuts or bolts. If they’re too tight, you’ll need to call us out.

  • Start by using the locking key (if your car has locking wheel nuts).
  • Next, take the wheel brace or wrench to start to loosen the nuts.
  • Don’t use your feet or try to extend the wheel brace.
  • The nuts on most cars will loosen when you turn anti-clockwise. Remember: right tight, left loose.
  • Only loosen the nuts slightly and then stop.

Step 3. – Use the jack to lift up the vehicle

Next, you’ll need to get the vehicle up on the jack.

  • Find the jacking point nearest to the wheel you need to change. It will be marked, usually with an arrow or by a reinforcing pad.
  • Sweep away any stones or debris.
  • Wind the jack out so it fits into the jacking point and the flat foot of the jack touches the ground.
  • Carefully continue to wind the jack until the wheel is off the ground. Be careful not to scrape your knuckles on the ground.
  • Keep checking to make sure the jack has stayed straight and parallel. If not, lower it and try again.
  • Raise the car high enough to get the inflated tyre on as this will be bigger than the flat tyre.

Step 4. – Take off the flat tyre

Once the car’s jacked up, you can undo the wheel nuts and take the wheel off.

  • Undo the wheel nuts and set them aside on a clean surface.
  • They may have a right or wrong way around, so take note when removing them.
  • The wheel should now lift away from the hub. It may be heavy, so be careful.
  • If the wheel’s stuck, it might need some persuasion to come off.
  • If it doesn’t come off fairly easily, replace the wheel nuts and call for assistance as it could be dangerous to proceed.

Step 5. – Fit the spare wheel

When the wheel with the puncture’s off, you can put on your spare wheel.

  • If your spare wheel has nuts and studs, it should slide on easily.
  • If the wheel has bolts, you’ll need to line up the holes using the alignment tool.
  • Screw the tool into the top hole and it’ll act as a guide to line up all the holes.
  • Once all the other bolts are in, remove the alignment tool and put in the last bolt.
  • Tighten all the nuts or bolts gently with the wheel brace.
  • Use the jack to lower the car until it makes firm contact with the ground.
  • Fully tighten the nuts or bolts in a diagonal pattern.
  • Remove the jack and put all your tools back in their proper place in your car.

Step 6. – Go to car repair service

After you’ve changed your wheel, go to a dealer or a garage as soon as you can.

If you used a temporary skinny spare:

  • Ask the garage or dealer to remove the skinny spare and fit a replacement.

If you used a spare wheel:

  • Have the pressure in the spare tyre checked.
  • Get your wheel nuts tightened properly.
  • Replace or repair the damaged tyre so you still have a spare.


Remember: If you have a temporary-use skinny spare, you’ll need to check any restrictions on using it. Usually, you can only travel up to 50mph and you’ll need to replace it with a normal tyre as soon as you can.

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