The Road Ahead : June July 2007
FEATURES 18 JUN/JLY 07 STORY CHRIS BISHOP PHOTOS STUART RILEY RACQ advises motorists to brush up on their tyre-changing techniques to avoid feeling deflated if it comes time to seek out the spare. Although RACQ's patrols are able to assist members with a flat or damaged tyre, drivers can ensure their own mobility by following a few simple tips. • Safety is the priority. Seek a flat location with a solid sur face, away from passing traffic and turn on your hazard lights. Engage your handbrake and brush up on the directions for changing a tyre in the vehicle's handbook. • Use something to chock the wheel diagonally opposite the flat tyre. • If possible, take the mat out of the boot and use it to kneel on. Locate the jack, wheel and spanner and sit them on the mat near the wheel to be changed. For extra safety, slide the spare under the car before you remove the flat tyre. • Use the handbook to find the car's jack points. Usually the jack will fit into a jacking point under the car's sill. Make sure the jack is sitting on a firm, level sur face so that it can't topple. • To loosen the wheel nuts, position the wheel spanner so that the handle is almost horizontal and push down in an anti-clockwise direction. If the wheel nuts are tight, stand up straight and carefully push down using your foot. Consider carr ying a piece of pipe to fit over the handle of the lever, or a longer wheel spanner, to exer t extra force. • Once the nuts have been loosened, jack the car up so that the tyre is totally clear of the ground, and ensure there is room for a fully inflated tyre. Remove the nuts and pull the flat tyre off by positioning your hands at 10 o'clock and four o'clock. Don't strain your back. • Remove the damaged wheel and place it under the vehicle as a prop. Position the inflated tyre near the wheel well. Line up the wheel holes with the studs and push the wheel into place. If you're having problems, put the wheel brace under the wheel and use it to lift. Avoid putting your hands and feet under the vehicle in case the jack slips. • Wind on the bottom nut first and then the rest of the nuts by hand. Tighten lightly with the spanner but don't fully tighten until the wheel is back on the ground. • Remove the flat tyre from under the car and lower the car. Tighten the nuts working in a criss-cross pattern until they are fully tight. Only use your foot if you can't apply sufficient pressure. Steady yourself against the car to avoid injur y. • Pack up your equipment and make sure the flat tyre is secured in the boot. Tr y to recheck the nuts within a shor t timeframe. Coping with change If you want to change a flat tyre, you need to follow a few basic steps. RACQ CAN HELP Interested in learning more about your car and how it all works? RACQ's next Car Care Course star ts on July 11 at 10 Graystone St, Tingalpa. The course runs for two hours ever y Wednesday night for five weeks and covers under-bonnet checks of fluids, over views of fuel and electrical systems, cooling systems, suspension and underbody components, and tyre changing hints. For details, call 3666 9760. FROM TOP: Loosen the nuts while the wheel is on the ground. Use extra leverage if needed. Locate the correct jacking points. Take care when lifting off the wheel.
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August September 2007