Knowing how to change a flat tyre is an essential skill for any driver. Even if you have roadside assistance your phone may be out of range or juice, so you are going to need to know how to do it yourself so you don’t get stranded in the middle of nowhere. At night. On your own. On Halloween. Okay, maybe we’re trying to scare you too much but you get the idea. So, here is our quick and simple guide to changing a tyre. Practice it in the driveway til you have it down so you can be confident of doing the job when you end up stuck.

1. Turn on your hazard lights

To avoid an accident, turn them on as soon as you realise you need to pull over.

2. Park somewhere safe

Don’t just stop, slowly reduce your speed and find a level and straight stretch of road with a wide shoulder. Never change your tyre on a narrow shoulder near oncoming traffic. Keep going until you find a safe spot. Replacing a rim is better than getting run over.

3. Apply your parking brake

Always use the parking brake when preparing to replace a flat tyre to stop your car rolling.

4. Apply your wheel wedges

Wheel wedges go in front of or behind the tyres so the vehicle doesn’t roll. If you’re changing a rear tyre, place these in front of the front tyres and vice versa. If you have no wedges use bricks or large stones

5. Remove the hubcap or wheel cover

If your vehicle has a hubcap covering the nuts, it’s easier to remove the hubcap before lifting the vehicle with the jack. Use the flat end of your wrench to remove the hubcap.

6. Loosen the nuts

Use the wrench to turn the nuts counterclockwise. Use your foot or all of your body weight if it’s tough to turn. Loosen the nuts about ¼ to ½ of a turn, but don’t remove them yet. Save that for when it’s time to remove your tyre/wheel from the vehicle.

7. Place the jack under the vehicle

Place your jack beneath the vehicle frame by the tyre that’s flat. Many vehicle frames have an area of exposed metal for the jack. Now raise the vehicle until the flat tyre is about six inches above the ground. Never put any part of your body under the vehicle during or after raising the vehicle with the jack.

8. Unscrew the nuts and remove the tyre

Remove the nuts all the way, then pull the tyre gently toward you until it’s completely free from the hub behind it. Set it on its side so that it doesn’t roll away.

9. Mount the spare tyre on the nuts and tighten by hand

Place the spare on the hub by lining up the rim with the bolts. Push gently until the bolts show through the rim. Put the nuts back on the bolts and tighten them all the way by hand.

10. Lower the jack and tighten the nuts

Use the jack to lower the car so that the spare tyre is resting on the ground but the full weight of the vehicle isn’t fully on the tyre. Now tighten the nuts with the wrench, turning clockwise as tight as possible.

10. Lower and remove the jack

Lower the vehicle all the way to the ground and remove the jack. Give the nuts another pull with the wrench to ensure they’re as tight as possible and replace the hubcap (if it fits your spare) before stowing away all the equipment.

11. Check the pressure in the spare tyre

You should check the pressure of the spare tyre to make sure that it is safe to drive on. Temporary spares usually require 60 psi (420 kPa). If the tyre needs pressure, drive (slowly) to a service station immediately.

12. Get a new tyre as soon as possible

Temporary spare tyres aren’t made to drive long distances or at high speeds, so drive cautiously until you’re able to replace your tyre.