Top Risks to Avoid When Changing a Wheel on Your Car

If you are unlucky enough to get a puncture while out and about, it’s relatively easy to quickly change to your spare wheel.

True, it does involve a bit of physical strength and the chances are that you’re going to get grubby as you go along. Even so, comparatively few people would need to call the garage out in such an eventuality.

In fact, the Internet is full of quick guides relating to “how to change a wheel in an emergency“.

While most of those are undoubtedly great, there are a few ‘don’t do’ points that you should keep in mind all the time. Failing to do so just might be dangerous, so we’ll run through them quickly here. These will be second nature to experienced or professional drivers such as luxury limousine hire chauffeurs and taxi drivers.


  • Try to jack your car up if you are on a hill.
  • Jack up your car if there is a camber on the road, meaning that the vehicle is tilting at an angle towards or away from you.
  • Cobble together a makeshift jack from unsuitable equipment. Your vehicle should come with a jack designed for it and if it doesn’t, make sure you buy an appropriate one of good quality.
  • Support your vehicle on things such as pile of bricks or stones and certainly avoid using bits of wood as a lever. It might look great on TV or in the movies but in real life it could be a death-trap.
  • Crawl under the vehicle, for any reason whatsoever, while it is supported on a jack alone. In some circumstances it MIGHT be safe to do so if you are absolutely certain that the vehicle’s weight is fully supported on professional stands AND you know what you are doing. Don’t take chances though.
  • Rock the car backwards and forwards while it’s jacked up. It’s not unusual to see people occasionally loading or unloading heavy suitcases and other items from the boot or roof-rack of a car while it’s supported on a jack alone. It’s really not a good idea!
  • Start jacking the car up with passengers inside. That’s partly because you will be trying to lift unnecessary weight and partly because if they start to fidget and move around, you could be putting unnecessary stress on your jack.
  • Place your jack randomly underneath and hope to be able to safely lift your car. There are, in fact, specially reinforced and designed jacking points which are where you should place your Jack. If you don’t know where they are, you should be able to find them in your vehicle guide.
  • Start replacing a wheel if the weather is particularly bad, such as in a downpour. It may be better and safer to be patient and wait for it to pass before starting.
  • Raise your vehicle higher than is necessary. Remember, it only has to be high enough for your presumably pre-inflated spare wheel to go on and clear the surface.
  • Lower your car once the wheel is on until you have given a hand and initial brace tighten of your wheel nuts. Remember that there is a technique for the balanced tightening of those nuts and you can find more about that online if you are uneasy.

These are just a few basic tips but if you follow them, you will hopefully significantly reduce the chances of an accident.


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