The ability to change wheels will never be superfluous. Especially as the process itself takes 10-15 minutes, and everything you need is usually in the trunk of any car.
How do you know the wheel’s been punctured
A punctured wheel is usually indicated by extraneous noise from outside, as well as speed loss and impaired handling. If a car is pulled aside and you have to make an effort to keep it on the road, it is likely that a puncture is made on one of the front wheels. If the rear of the car starts to move, then the problem is there.
When that happens, you’ll know exactly what it is. Don’t panic under any circumstances. Align the car and, gradually reducing the speed, pull over to the curb.
How to change a wheel
1. Park at the side of the road.
You can’t keep driving with a punctured tire, but it’s no use stopping in the middle of the road. So don’t be afraid to drive a couple of tens of meters and choose a flat dry spot on the side of the road.
It is best to get away from moving vehicles so as not to provoke an accident and not to risk your life.]
Drivers of machines with manual gearboxes should always engage first gear, and owners of automatics should move the lever to the parking position (P).
And in any case, you need to put the car on the handle.
2. Install the emergency stop sign and prepare the tools.
When parking the car in a safe place, do not forget to activate the alarm and set the emergency stop sign, which is in the boot. In populated areas, it is placed 20 meters behind the car, and on the highway – 40 meters.
In the trunk, find a spare and a bottle key jack. Usually, the manufacturer has it all in a special niche under the polka, which can be accessed by lifting the bottom panel.
It’s good if you have a pump and pressure gauge to check the pressure as well as chocks. And, of course, gloves wouldn’t hurt, because you’d still have to get your hands a little dirty.
3. Remove the wheel.
Deliver all tools and spare parts, place them next to the punctured wheel and ask all passengers to leave the car. Even if there is heavy frost or heavy rain outside, safety first.
In spite of the handbrake and the gear engaged, the wheels must be additionally secured with stanchions before the jack is installed. Behind them, however, any stones or pieces of brick will come down.
If the rear wheel needs to be replaced, the stops are on both sides of the front wheels, and vice versa.
Now we can begin to remove the wheel. First, release the disc from the plastic cap and loosen the bolts with the cylinder wrench. It will take a lot of force to move them, which can be provided by the weight of your body just by pressing the wrench with your foot. There is no need to completely unscrew the bolts: just unscrew them by one turn.
After that, you need to lift the car with a jack. You can never install it anywhere. Especially for these purposes, there are small reinforced places on the bottom, which are usually behind the front wheel or just before the rear wheel. The manufacturer marks them with triangles or notches at the bottom of the sills. If the weld is covered with plastic pads, they will be interrupted at the jack mounting points.
Move the jack under the bottom and start turning the handle clockwise. Make sure that the jack rises evenly and does not tilt.
If the lower paw of the jack goes into the ground under the weight of the car, you need to put under it something like a piece of board or a brick.
It’s not worth raising the wheel too much. It’s enough to stop at 5 cm from the ground. After that, you can completely unscrew the bolts and remove the punctured wheel from the hub. It is better to push it under the car like insurance, and put the bolts somewhere on a rag, so as not to get lost.
4. Install and check the spare part.
All that’s left is to put a spare instead of a punctured wheel. To do this, align the holes on the disc with the holes in the hub, put the wheel on and press in the bolts, fully tightening them by hand.
The nuts that secure the wheels to the hub are important for the semicircular side of the disc, not the outside.
Remove the punctured wheel from under the car, lower the jack and finally tighten the bolts. You have to do it right. On wheels with four or six holes, the opposite bolts will be tightened in pairs. If there are five holes, you have to pull it in the order that you draw a five-pointed star.
It remains to assemble the tool, remove the jack and the stops, and check the pressure in the installed wheel and, if necessary, inflate it. If the pump is not at hand, you can ask drivers passing by for help.
If you use a small stock, the so-called dokatka, be careful: it can usually be driven at a speed of no more than 10 m/h and a maximum distance of 100 miles.
And, of course, try to fix a punctured wheel in a specialized tire fitting as soon as possible, so as not to test your luck and not to drive without a spare.