Changing Tyres During Emergency

Changing tyres correctly is a particularly difficult task for many drivers. The tyre change can be carried out for different reasons. Usually a change is made before Easter and October. However, a change is also necessary after a puncture or a worn out tire. Here you will get tips on how to change your tyres successfully, quickly and safely and what to look out for when choosing the right tyres.

What you should always have with you when changing tyres:

  • jack
  • torque wrench
  • high-visibility vest
  • work gloves
  • Good wheel spider
  • Spare wheel with sufficient air pressure

Tyre change in three steps

Start by looking at your car’s owner’s manual. This will immediately draw your attention to the special features of the vehicle in question. Then you can start right away.

Remove old wheel

Ensure that your vehicle stands securely on a level surface.

Apply the parking brake and engage the gear.

Loosen the wheel bolts or bolts crosswise using the wheel spider.

Place the jack in the correct position and lift the car so that the wheel you want to change is just in the air.

Now remove the wheel bolts – always crosswise. Turn the wheel so that a screw remains in the upper half that holds the wheel to the end. If the bolts are too tight, you can stand on the wheel cross and loosen them,” says Müller.

Put on a new wheel

Mount the new wheel – crosswise again.

Pay attention to the running direction of the tyre.

Mark the dismantled wheel with chalk. In this way you can remember the position and carry out a wheel change from front to rear the next time you change the tyre. If you have removed the old wheel, you should clean the bearing surface.

Tighten the screws

First tighten the screws slightly with the wheel cross.

Lower the vehicle so that the tyre just rests on the ground.

Now tighten the screws with the torque wrench. Adjust this to the tightening torque specified by the car manufacturer. If you tighten the screws too tightly, the thread can be damaged, so that in extreme cases the screws will come loose again.

Check the air pressure in all wheels at the nearest petrol station. Both the safety and the service life of tyres depend on the correct pressure.

Tyre change in the event of a puncture

Has your tyre burst or flattened on the road? Now it is essential that you secure the vehicle before changing the tyre properly. If necessary, the driver could head for the next safe area such as the parking lot or emergency stop bay at walking speed on the defective tyre.

The motto: “Get away from the traffic to avoid danger”.

The next steps:

Place the vehicle on a firm and safe surface.

Secure the car against rolling away with a stone.

Set up the warning triangle to warn other road users. The following applies: 50 m in front of the breakdown vehicle in built-up areas, 100 m on country roads, 200 m on the motorway.

Before changing tyres, note: “Before you open a screw, it is advisable to check whether the spare wheel can be removed at all and whether it has sufficient air pressure to be used,” advises the expert.

If the tyre pressure is too low, this can have consequences:

The tyre heats up and can wear prematurely because the rubber becomes brittle. Even 0.4 bar less tyre pressure reduces the service life by around 30%, at 0.6 bar it is as much as 45%.

The tyre can be damaged inside, invisible from the outside, which can lead to accidents (e.g. caused by tyre blowouts).

The rolling resistance increases and with it the fuel consumption: With only 0.2 bar underpressure this makes an additional consumption of 1%, with 0.6 bar already 4%.

Tire pressure that is too low is often triggered by gradual pressure loss, sometimes only a few hundredths of a bar per month, but these add up over time. Therefore, the air pressure should always be checked and, if necessary, replenished at a refueling stop. Do not forget the spare wheel.

You can find the correct tyre pressure in your vehicle’s operating instructions or in the car’s information signs, which are often attached to the fuel filler cap or door frame.

Always measure the air pressure with cold tyres, as the heated air expands and indicates a higher pressure. If the tire is heated, the tire pressure should be 0.3 bar above the specified value. In principle, the tire pressure can be 0.2 bar above the indicated value. In any case, the tyre pressure should be 0.2 bar higher than indicated at longer journeys on motorways, for loaded vehicles, such as holiday trips.

For loaded vehicles, however, the correct tyre pressure is usually also indicated in the service booklet or on the information sign on the vehicle by appropriate symbols.

Winter tyres should also be refilled 0.2 bar above the specified value, as they are usually inflated in the warmer workshop or garage and then lose some pressure in the cold.

Visit for more emergency roadside assistance and tips.

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May 2019
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