How to change a tyre if you're caught out on a New Zealand summer roadie

It's summer and Kiwis are preparing for the traditional road trip out to the beach, the park, and their favourite Christmas and New Years' spots.

But what happens when you're hit with a flat and you don't know what to do? Here Newshub takes you through each of the steps. 

How to change your tyre

  1. Make sure you're on flat ground and no one is inside the vehicle and make sure the handbrake is on

  2. Dig the spare tyre out of the boot and check it has some air in it - you can test this by giving it a bounce

  3. Then select your tools: you're going to need a tyre wrench and a jack

  4. Loosen the nuts on the tyre with the tyre wrench while the vehicle is on the ground

  5. Always pull upwards - you don't want to punch the ground when the force is dissipated

  6. If they're too tight, push on the wheel wrench with your feet

  7. Next grab the jack and slide it into position under the car's jacking point. You should be able to visibly see this. Then jack up the car

  8. Once it's up, fully remove the nuts and take off the wheel

  9. Put the spare tyre on in its place, replace the wheel nuts and tighten with your fingers

  10. Lower the vehicle and tighten the nuts with the wrench

  11. Remember, if it's a space-saver tyre it's meant to be a temporary tyre and you can't drive faster than 80km/h with it on

How else to stay safe

To ensure your vehicle gets you to your summer holiday destination safely, AA Motoring also has some good advice. 


Check tyre pressures, and don’t forget to also check the spare. Under-inflated tyres use more fuel and therefore cost more money.

The minimum legal tread depth is 1.5mm. You can quickly measure tyre tread by using a 20c piece; measuring from the bottom of the coin to the ‘20’ or writing edge is approximately 2mm.

Run your hand around the circumference of the tyre to check for cuts, bulges and uneven wear. 


Clean all glass, including your mirrors. Ensure your wiper blades are in good condition. Also make sure your windscreen washer fluid is topped up and fresh detergent has been added.


Walk around the outside of your car to check all your lights are working and all lenses are clean.

Cooling system

If you have to regularly top up your car’s cooling system, get it seen before hitting the road. Things will only get worse if you don’t.


Trailers, boats and caravans aren’t normally used as frequently as vehicles, and things can deteriorate while they’re not being used. Always check the wheel bearings of your trailer or caravan to make sure they’re not loose or noisy, and make sure you’re carrying a spare tyre for them. Also ensure that all lights and indicators are operating correctly.


Check the engine oil level and top it up if required before heading off on a long road trip. If the distance you’ll cover on your road trip will take you into your next service interval, arrange to have your vehicle serviced before you head off.

Also check your WoF will remain current for your journey. Dig out any past service or WoF notes that you may need to attend to this time; problems tend to get worse over time not better.