How to Remove a Wheel (Flat Tyre)

For the majority of the time, there are probably two reasons for changing a wheel on a car:

If you have a flat tire, you are most likely going to use the jack supplied with the vehicle. Whereas, if you are working on your car, I’m assuming you will probably use a hydraulic jack.

Note: Not all vehicles are the same? Therefore proceed with caution (at your own risk). Please read the owner’s manual…

For more information, see the article on “How to Jack up a Vehicle Safely“.


How to Change a Wheel on a Car:

Flat Tyre – Do You Need to Change the Wheel:

Dependant on the vehicle and its options, the car may be fitted with:

  • Run flat tyres (no spare wheel).
  • Have a sealant repair kit (no spare wheel).
  • Or have a spare wheel?

Take a look at your vehicle handbook for advice…

If you have a flat tyre (and a Spare):

Find a safe place to stop where you are not exposed to other vehicles. Park the car on flat firm ground, so the vehicle is:

  • Less likely to roll (or, the jack, axle stand may fall).
  • Make sure the jack is well supported (or, it may start to sink into the ground).

Prepare… Find the jack, spare wheel, wheel wrench and wheel chocks (if supplied). Most of the time, the tools will be under the floor carpet in your trunk (boot). The spare wheel could be under the:

  • Under the boot (trunk) carpet.
  • Under the rear of the vehicle.
  • Mounted externally.
  • Or, sometimes in the engine compartment?

Check the vehicle handbook.

Wheel Removal - Tool Kit
Wheel Removal – Tool Kit
  • All occupants should exit the vehicle and stand behind a barrier, or in a safe place away from other traffic.
  • Make sure the handbrake is on and place the wheel chocks (if supplied) against a wheel that is not being jacked up.
  • Remove the keys from the ignition.
  • Remove the wheel trim (if fitted).
  • If wheel lock nuts are fitted, find the wheel lock nut key (adapter tool).
Wheel Removal – Wheel Nut Access, Removing the Trim cover
  • Loosen the wheel nuts, whilst the wheel is still on the ground, (Just Half a Turn).
Wheel Removal – Undoing the Wheel Nuts
  • Position the jack according to the vehicle manufacturers handbook.
  • Jack up the car so the wheel is just off the ground, (but enough to refit a wheel with an inflated tyre).
  • Never place any part of your body (or anyone else’s!) under the car.
  • Undo the wheel nuts, (only remove the wheel nuts when the spare is to hand).
  • Remove the wheel and replace with the spare.
  • Fit the wheel nuts and tighten in turn.
  • Lower the car to the point where the wheel is just touching the ground… (so the wheel can’t spin). Re-tighten the wheel nuts.
  • You can then completely lower the car and remove the jack.
  • Replace the wheel trim. If the air valve fits through the trim, make sure it is correctly seated.
Wheel Removal – Replacing the Trim (Ensuring the Trim Fits Over the Tyre Valve Correctly
  • Ensure you place the flat tire, wheel wrench, lock nut adapter tool and the jack, etc, etc, back in the boot (trunk).
  • Get the tyre repaired and the wheel nuts tightened to the correct torque at the earliest opportunity.

For more information, see the article on “How to Jack up a Vehicle Safely“.

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