- Stop your car on a level surface away from road hazards
- Never get underneath a jacked-up car
- Do not attempt to change a tyre unless it is safe to do so
1. Safety first
Activate your hazard lights and as soon as it is safe to do so, pull over and park your vehicle in a safe area, such as a hard shoulder or breakdown lane. Park as far away from other traffic as possible and activate your parking lights in poor visibility.
Next you want to prepare the car by finding a hard and flat surface to jack up the car. Before you start, put the car in park (or in gear for a manual), make sure the handbrake is on.
If you are unsure or uncomfortable changing a tyre by yourself, you can call the NRMA roadside assistance on 13 11 11 for help or request for assistance via the my nrma app.
2. What you will need
The tools to change your flat tyre will usually be with the spare wheel and tyre in the boot. The owner’s manual will tell you where to find the jack, wheel chocks and wheel brace – if you can’t see them.
Position the wheel chocks as they will prevent your vehicle from rolling while jacked up. Position a chock on the opposite wheel to the one with a puncture. For example, if your left-front tyre has a puncture, put a chock behind the right-rear wheel. If your left-rear tyre is flat, you need a chock in front of the right-front. Use chocks for both front/rear wheels (as appropriate) if you have them. Bricks or large rocks can do the same job if you don’t have a dedicated chock.
Now you’re safe and ready to start.
3. Loosen the wheel nuts and then jack the car up
The right technique to loosen the wheel nuts is important to ensure you don’t hurt yourself. Place the wheel brace on one of the wheel nuts and, with a straight arm and a straight back, apply force to the nut in an anticlockwise direction and loosen the nuts to the point where they can be turned by hand. However, don't remove them completely yet.
All cars have dedicated jacking points – consult your handbook to see where these are. Aim to position the jack at the side of the car, close to the punctured wheel and raise the car slowly until the flat tyre is 10-15cm off the ground.
4. Remove the flat tyre and wheel
Fully loosen and remove the wheel nuts using the wheel brace or your fingers, then gently pull the tyre towards you until it comes free. Place it flat on the ground.Take your spare wheel out of the boot and secure the flat tyre and wheel in its place.
5. Fit the spare tyre and wheel
With the tyre and wheel on the ground in roughly the right position, line up the bolt holes of the spare wheel with the wheel studs or holes on the car – it’s now easier to lift the wheel straight on.
Tighten all the wheel nuts by hand, starting with the bottom nut, which will hold the wheel in place. Then using the wheel brace, fully tighten the wheel nuts.
6. Lower the jack
Turn the handle slowly to lower the jack until the new wheel and tyre takes the weight of the car, then slide the jack out from under the car. Consider giving the wheel nuts a final check for tightness.Place the jack and wheel brace back in the boot – you have finished changing your flat tyre!
7. Check the spare tyre pressure
If you have one, use a tyre pressure gauge to check the spare wheel is fully inflated. Alternatively, drive carefully to a petrol station and use the gauge there. Pump up the tyre to the recommend pressure - as detailed in the handbook - if necessary.