We often neglect to think about changing our car tyres until it’s too late and we’ve got worn-down tyres or a puncture. Really, your tyres are the most important part of your car and car maintenance.
This post is going to give you all of the information you need on your car tyres. We’ll run through when you need to change them, why it’s important and even how to change them just in case you’re a lover of DIY.
Why It’s Important
Your tyres are one of the most important features of your car. When they’re in good condition, they keep you safe, help you accelerate, decelerate, brake and keep you gripped to the road.
When your tyres are worn down, they won’t be able to grip to the road as well as they should be able to. This then puts you at risk of crashing, injuring yourself, people around you and passengers in your car.
If you’re unsure of how worn down your tyres are, go ahead and book an appointment with a garage. An experienced technician will be able to take a look at your car’s tyres to see if they need changing. If they do, they’ll also be able to do this for you.
When To Change Your Tyres
If you’re looking to change your tyres yourself but don’t know where to start and what to look for, then we have you covered! We’ll take you through exactly what you should be looking for when it comes to changing your car’s tyres.
Your tyre’s should be changed regularly, even if they’re showing no signs of wearing down. Realistically, you should change the tyres of your car every 5 years, this helps to prevent wear and tear and maintains the safety of your car when you’re driving.
The tread of your wheel refers to how much grip it has on the road whilst you’re driving. You need good tyre tread to be able to continue driving safely throughout your journey.
To tell if your tyre tread is worn down, simply place a 20p coin into the grooves of the tyre. If you can’t see the outer band of the coin, your tyres reach the legal limit. If you can see the outer band, it’s time to get them replaced.
How To Change Tyres
So, how do you actually change your tyres? You could of course get a garage to look into this for you, replacing them all at once for you, but this isn’t always realistic. Sometimes, you have no choice but to change your tyre yourself, especially if you can’t get to a garage, so it’s always a handy tip to have.
Let’s start with what equipment you’ll need and why each different piece of equipment is needed.
- Wrench – This is for removing the wheel nuts
- Wheel chock – This stops the car from rolling around when it’s lifted up
- Jack – This is used to lift the car off the ground
- Wheel nut key – This is used only if locking nuts are fitted
- Car handbook – This is pretty self-explanatory, this is used for guidance
Alongside these, it’s also handy to have gloves, a torch, reflective equipment (like a jacket) and a tyre gauge. All of these items will help to make changing your tyre much easier, especially if you’re alone.
You need to start by preparing your car. This means removing all of the passengers and applying the handbrake. Nothing can be done whilst the handbrake is off and people are still in the car, even and especially young kids, no matter how light they are.
Now you need to position the wheel chocks, these will be placed under the supporting wheel to ensure the car doesn’t roll once it’s been jacked up and ready for a tyre change. Your wheel chock should be positioned under the opposite wheel.
Now you need to loosen the wheel nuts, this should be done whilst the car is on the ground. The wheel trim of the car may need to be removed first depending on the model of car you have.
You then need to turn the wheel anti-clockwise and loosen the nuts so they can be turned by hand but it’s important not to loosen them completely.
Position the car jack at the side of the car close to the punctured wheel or the wheel you want to replace. You’ll then need to place a plank of wood or wheel chock underneath the opposite wheel to keep it stable as you lift the car off the ground.
TIP: Raise the car around 10-15cm off the ground
Now you need to fully remove the wheel nuts and gently pull the tyre towards you until it comes off. You can then place the wheel you’ve just taken off onto the ground beside you whilst you change the tyre.
You’re now able to slide the spare wheel onto the hub bolt and then retighten the nuts by hand. It’s key to remember the wheel will be heavy to lift though.
You can now use the jack to lower the car down slowly until the new wheel is placed onto the ground with the other wheels. Then remove the jack and re-check the wheel nuts before placing the tyre you just removed into the boot of your car.
You’ll now need to check the tyre using a pressure gauge to make sure the tyre is fully inflated and safe to use. If it’s not fully inflated, use a tyre pump to inflate the tyre to the correct pressure.
That’s it! That’s all you have to do if you’re wanting to change your tyre and remove a punctured one. If you’re at home and your tyre is just deflated and not damaged, you can just pump it up again.
They’re all of the tips we have when it comes to changing a tyre and knowing how to tell when your tyres need changing! If you’re unsure, it’s always a good idea to check with a garage or MOT centre.