Changing a flat tyre at the side of the road is always tricky, especially since a puncture always happens just at the most inconvenient moment! To help get you back on the road, read our clear and practical instructions on how to fit the spare wheel.
How to fit the spare wheel?
If your tyre cannot be repaired or you have no way to repair it on hand, there is still the good old solution of the spare wheel. Quite simple to fit, you just need some muscle power!
Here’s how to change a wheel:
1. Find a safe spot:
- Park in a safe place or where there is no risk of causing an accident. Apply the handbrake and select first gear.
- Put on your hazard lights.
2. Take out the required equipment:
- Spare tyre (in the boot, beneath the car or if you don’t know, look in the car’s user manual).
- Wheel brace.
3. Prepare the wheel:
- If necessary, remove the cover or hubcap.
- Loosen all nuts by approximately two turns: turn the wheel brace counter clockwise. If necessary, use your foot for more force.
4. Position the jack:
- Place the jack in the designated location (check your manual if unsure).
- Jack the car up until the wheel no longer touches the ground.
5. Remove the wheel:
- Remove all the nuts and keep them beside you so that you don’t lose them!
- Remove the wheel.
6. Fit the spare wheel:
- Position the wheel on the hub.
- Put the nuts back on and use the wheel brace to turn them clockwise.
7. Lower the car:
- Use the jack to lower the car onto the ground.
- Fold and stow away the jack.
8. Tighten the wheel:
- Tighten the nuts, but do not over-tighten them since you will have to remove the wheel again to change the tyre.
- If necessary, fit the hubcap.
9. Stow away the equipment:
- Put the punctured tyre where the spare wheel is kept in the vehicle.
- Stow the jack, wheel brace and any other equipment you have used.
Always make sure that your spare tyre is correctly inflated.
Once fitted, the spare tyre will allow you to drive at a reduced speed until you reach the nearest garage to replace your tyre.
Is your spare wheel a "space saver”?
To change the flat tyre, the spare wheel in your boot may be a complete wheel or a space saver. What’s the difference?
The space saver: smaller than the standard wheel, it is provided for emergency use until a replacement tyre can be fitted. You will need to drive more slowly since space savers have a maximum speed of 50 mph.
The complete wheel: this wheel is identical to the ones already fitted on your vehicle. Only the brand and rim may be different to the other wheels fitted. A different tyre on the same axle can be used for the time it takes to drive to the garage.
After the puncture
Don’t forget that your tyres should have similar tread depths. If there is a big difference in tread depth between two tyres on the same axle, the garage might recommend that you replace both tyres and not just the flat one.
After buying a new tyre to replace the punctured tyre, it is important to put the spare wheel back in its original place and check the condition of the entire emergency system. A few helpful tips:
- Check the pressure of the new tyre.
- Check the difference in wear between the new tyre and the tyres already fitted (especially those on the same axle).
- Check you have all the equipment required in your vehicle (jack, wheel brace, spare wheel, compressor… ) and that it is in good condition in case you have another puncture.
- Buy a tyre repair kit.
- Check the breakdown assistance covered by your insurance.