Knowing how to change a wheel is an essential part of being a motorist. According to recent statistics, 83 percent of Americans drive regularly but do you know when to change wheels?
Changing wheels and knowing how to change a tire are two different skills but go hand-in-hand. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at how to change a tire and why you might need to, as well as why you may want to change a wheel.
Ready to learn more and develop a key skill? Then read on!
How to Change a Tire
Okay, so let’s look at the most basic wheel skill that there is: how to change a tire. This is a vital skill for keeping your car’s wheels in good shape and staying safe on the road.
Pull Over and Stay Safe
The first thing that you need to do is find somewhere safe to pull up to change a tire. A punctured tire that happens while you’re driving is dangerous but so is stopping in the middle of a freeway. Pull over out of traffic and assess the damage.
Get Your Equipment
Now that you’re safe, it’s time for you to get the tools you need to change a wheel. You should always travel with the following in the trunk of your car:
- Wheel brace
- Locking wheel nuts
- A jack
- Any specialty equipment that your car manual specifies
This guide relies on you having a spare tire in your trunk or mounted on your car. If you don’t have one of these, and instead have foam that can patch up a puncture, then you’ll need to use the foam to patch up your puncture and drive to a garage.
Loosen the Wheel Nuts
Now that you’ve got your equipment, it’s time to get started on the actual process of changing a tire. You shouldn’t jack your car up to start with: instead, put your wheel brace against the nuts and loosen them but don’t actually remove them yet.
If you need a little extra power to loosen the nuts, you can use your bodyweight by using your foot on the brace.
Jack Your Car Up
Now it’s time for you to jack your car up. To do this, you need to find where the jackpoint is on your car: this should be pretty obvious but if you’re not sure, you can check your car’s manual to find where you should jack your car. This is important information as other parts of the chassis may not be able to take the strain, which can lead to damage.
Take the Wheel Nuts Off
Now that your wheels are off the ground, you can remove the nuts completely. As you’ve loosened them before, you may be able to do this with your hands rather than using the wheel brace.
Make sure that you take care while removing the nuts. If you do it fast, you might drop them and trust us; they’re very easy to lose.
Remove the Wheel
Now that you’ve got the nuts off, you can remove the wheel completely. To do this, take both hands and grab the wheel, then gently and firmly pull it to remove it from your car.
Install Your New Wheel
Now it’s time to put the new wheel on. Take your spare wheel out and push it into place. Now it’s a matter of tightening the wheel nuts a little, then jacking the car back down to the road.
Then, grab your wheel brace and tighten the nuts up. Put your other wheel into the spare tire storage of your car and get back on the road.
Be warned that some spare tires aren’t designed for long distances, so you should probably still go to a mechanic’s and get a new spare tire as well as a replacement for the one you replaced.
Why Change a Wheel?
So we’ve covered how to change car wheels but why would you do this? What reasons would make you need to change your car’s wheels? Let’s take a closer look!
Your Tires Have Punctured
This is the most obvious reason that you can have for changing your wheels. If your tires are punctured, then driving on them is very unsafe.
You Need Other Tires for Different Weather
Not all tires are equal. Those tires that you drive on in summer probably don’t have the grip that you need if you want to drive in ice and snow.
When temperatures drop and patches of ice start appearing on the roads, you should take a look at snow tires and other heavy-duty tires that can make your winter driving safer!
You Want to Go Off-Roading
If you want to go off-roading, you need off road wheels. These are designed with mud, gravel, dirt, and rocks in mind. If you fancy hitting the trails, then don’t go without replacing your road tires!
You’re Going to Hit the Track
If you want to take your car to a track day, then having racing tires will let you get the very best times that you can! Racing slicks are a particularly great way to ensure that you get the maximum grip on the tarmac.
Knowing How to Change a Wheel Is a Vital Skill
If you don’t know how to change a wheel, it’s time that you learned. Changing car wheels is a vital skill and one of the easiest things you can do at the roadside. Take the time to learn this skill and become a better driver!
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