Changing a tyre is like sucking eggs for some but for others out there we’ve never had to do it and we all have to start somewhere. So we put together this quick guide to help you to get it right first time.
Firstly is the handbrake on? If you’re double cautious then put the car into first gear as well. Take out your spare from it’s storage point and lay it under the vehicle close to where you will be jacking, this can be used as a failsafe if the truck falls off the jack, it will drop onto the wheel not the floor giving you room to recover the jack and start again.
Loosen the wheel nuts whilst the weight of the car is on the wheel, if the nuts are jammed tight then extend the length of your wheel brace to give more leverage by sliding a tube over the handle, or try to jar the wheel brace with a stamp of your foot. If this fails stand on the end of the handle and bounce, make sure you hold on to the vehicle for when it springs lose. Remember to ensure your brace is squared onto the nut at all times to prevent damage or injury.
Check where your cars jack points are or you could cave in the sill or do more damage. This information is usually in the handbook. Once you’ve made contact at the correct point ensure you have a level surface for your jack and that the ground will hold the weight, no good on mud. Use a pad or plank if the ground looks unstable. Remember you have a 4×4 so you’ll be jacking for a while whilst the suspension takes up most of the lift before the wheel comes off the ground. You’ll only need about an inch gap from the ground to work in unless you’re changing to bigger tyres.
Remove the wheels nuts but use a diagonal pattern rather then the next in line this will prevent the wheel loosening at the top (for example) and creating a strain on the lower nuts and keep them safe. If you have some grease then apply to the newly exposed wheel bolts to prevent rusting and whilst you have the tyre off take advantage of the view and check all the cables, brakes etc.
Roll the replacement tyre into place then nudge the bottom into position. If you crouch with your knees wide and place elbows on knees you can create a lever technique and protect the back from straining as you lift the tyre onto the nuts. Well you did pick big tyres and them mud boots are filled with air not helium.
Place all the nuts on and gently tighten again diagonally to allow the wheel to sit correctly and avoid any unnecessary trouble.
Lower and remove the jack.
Check and tighten those nuts again after five minutes whilst the weight of the car is on them, you can use this time to stow away the removed wheel and jack. Then before setting off, check the air pressure of the wheel, as usually there is air loss with spare wheels sitting on their rack. Don’t forget to make a note to get the spare fixed asap, or you may get caught out next time.
You’re ready to roll …
One last point to consider; We always throw a can of Tire Weld into the vehicles gear bag, good to have a quick fix option just to get you out of that iffy location sharpish, such as at the side of a busy road, or facing darkness out on the trails.