How to change a car tire safely ?

Puncture or wear, many are the contexts that require replacement of the tire(s) of a vehicle. However, many people are still unaware of the basics of wheel changes, yet within the reach of any DIYer, even a beginner. Follow the leader.

Let’s talk tires first

For a tire change to be possible, in the event of a puncture, you must first have a new wheel or a spare wheel available. And the ideal would of course be to have the same tire models, however, to help out, mismatched tires are tolerated. Afterwards, when it is necessary to change this flat tire definitively, the question which arises is: how to find your way around if you don’t know anything about it? Nothing could be simpler, here is a help to determine the size of your tires, because it is one of the essential parameters which intervenes during the selection of the pneumatic equipment of your car. Otherwise, the model may not fit the vehicle.

What is more, under penalty of sanction, it is forbidden to drive with wheels of different sizes. At the time of purchase, do not hesitate to ask the advice of a technician who will be able to advise you perfectly on the right tire model. And if you simply want to change dimensions, consult a professional first before taking any initiatives.

Afterwards, it is also the use of the tires that will have to be taken into account. In fact, for use of the vehicle exclusively in town, tires that are resistant to wear are recommended because of the numerous braking operations in traffic jams, often over short distances. If it is rather driving on the highways, models providing good stability will be preferred. And for fans of sporty driving, it is better to choose tires offering good grip and precision. Finally, the type of tire will also be defined according to the weather and climatic conditions. A resident of Haute-Savoie will not necessarily have the same equipment as a Breton. See on this subject, the road safety note.

The art of changing a wheel

In the event of a flat or punctured tyre, a few basic safety rules should be observed before attempting to change the wheel concerned. As soon as possible, get out of traffic and park in a calm and quiet place such as a parking lot. Are you on the highway? Stop on the hard shoulder, taking care to switch on your hazard warning lights to warn other motorists. Put on your fluorescent vest and put up your warning triangle so that other motorists can spot you as quickly as possible.

Make sure the handbrake is on and put the gear in reverse or first gear to prevent the vehicle from moving forward or backward. Get out of their boxes, jack, release key and spare wheel.

Start by removing the hubcaps. Then loosen the nuts that hold the wheel counterclockwise. Place the jack firmly in the notches intended for this purpose. By loosening the jack, you can now gently lift the car 10 or 15 centimeters off the ground. Then finish unscrewing the nuts. Remove the wheel and place the spare wheel on the hub. Replace the bolts manually and tighten them carefully with the cross key. Lower the car, release the jack and put the hubcaps back in place.

For your information, for excellent road holding, your tires must be inflated to the correct pressure. This varies by vehicle. However, you will normally find this information written in the opening of the driver’s side door.

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