How to change a wheel on your car

As always, we recommend that you check your vehicle handbook for any specific information on changing the wheel in your car, as it may include specific advice.

That said, with the right tools and the basic knowledge provided below, changing the wheel on your car should be straightforward. Why not practice at home when it’s a nice dry day, so that you’ll feel more confident if a puncture should occur when you’re out on the road, especially if it’s dark or wet.

To save space in the boot, many new cars now include a puncture repair kit rather than a spare wheel. If your car doesn’t have a spare then it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the kit so that you’ll know what to do in an emergency situation.

For your own safety, the AA recommends the following:

  • Don’t try to change a wheel on the hard shoulder of a motorway or at the side of a road. Turn off or pull over well away from the traffic and call for help.
  • Don’t try to change a wheel on soft, loose or uneven ground.
  • Don’t try to change a wheel with passengers still in the car. Move everyone to a place of safety, well away from the vehicle and carriageway.
  • Don’t work under a car while it’s raised on a jack.
  • Don’t try to use the jack anywhere other than at the specified jacking points – attaching the jack in the wrong place can cause damage to the car and/or risk of it collapsing when lifted.

What You’ll Need:

  • Your vehicle handbook which will show you where to attach the jack
  • The spare wheel
  • The Vehicle jack
  • Wheel-nut wrench with extension bar and locking wheel nut adaptor (if you have locking wheel nuts fitted)
  • Ideally at least one wheel chock, or wedge, to place closely against the vehicle’s wheels to prevent accidental movement
  • A pair of cutters to remove any cable ties if you use these to hold your wheel trims in place
  • A torch
  • A reflective jacket, sensible/strong shoes, a pair of gloves and something to kneel on, are also advisable

Step-by-Step Actions:

1. Apply the handbrake and engage first gear.

2. Switch off the engine and turn on the hazard warning lights.

3. Remove the spare wheel from the boot and lay it on the ground in a convenient place for fitting.

4. Remove the wheel trim, if fitted, from the damaged wheel.

5. Place the jack at the recommended lifting point closest to the wheel to be removed, as shown in your vehicle handbook. Ensure that the jack engages correctly and extend until it just starts to lift the car on its springs. Don’t lift the car any further at this stage.

6. Slacken off the wheel nuts (most will turn anti–clockwise to undo) using the vehicle’s wheel brace and locking wheel-nut adapter, if required. Now raise the jack to lift the vehicle so that the wheel is just clear of the ground.

7. Remove the slackened wheel nuts while keeping the wheel in position on its hub using a knee or toe. Leave the top one until last so that both your hands are free to lift the wheel away from the hub.

8. Fitting the spare is the reverse of the procedure above; place the replacement wheel centrally on the hub, secure the wheel by refitting the top wheel nut first and then tighten all of the nuts first by hand.

9. Carefully lower the jack so that the wheel makes contact with the ground before fully tightening the wheel nuts.

10. Once this is done, remove the jack and stow your equipment and the damaged wheel in the boot.


One final point, if the spare is for temporary-use only, there are likely to be driving restrictions, do check and adhere to these and get the new full tyre replaced asap.

And, of course, if you’re in any doubt, please give us a call on tel: 01442 871234. We’re here to help!