Battle of the sexes: Tyre Change Challenge

It’s just over six months since the ECJ gender directive kicked in, which banned insurers from using gender as a factor when calculating car insurance costs. But, when it comes down to it, are male and female motorists really all created equal? To find out, MoneySuperMarket has devised a series of tasks to get the battle of the sexes debate motoring. First up was the ‘Tyre change challenge’, which pitted Clare Francis, our editor-in-chief, against Dan Bolger, head of publishing. So how did things pan out? Take a look for yourself… [embed width="560" height="315"][/embed] As you can see, Dan was the quickest but his technique left a lot to be desired. Jacking the car up before first loosening the nuts means you could potentially pull the car off the jack and injure yourself. Clare, meanwhile, correctly loosened the wheel nuts before jacking the car and then taking the wheel off. And although Dan thought he had won the challenge, his celebrations were premature as he forgot to tighten the wheel nuts, meaning that his wheel could have fallen off as he drove away. So, in true tortoise and hare style, slow and steady won the race, well done Clare – one-nil to the women!

How to change a tyre

If you suffer a flat tyre, pull over in a safe place with a level, hard surface.
  • Step one: Switch off the engine, turn on your hazard lights and apply the handbrake (or place the car in parking ‘P’ mode if automatic).
  • Step two: Remove the spare and any tools from the boot and then place the jack in the vehicle’s recommended jacking point, making sure the jacking point properly engages, and then extend the jack until you feel the car lift slightly on its springs. Check the manual if you’re at all unsure where the jacking point is.
  • Step three: Loosen the wheel nuts using the vehicle’s wheel brace and locking wheel nut adaptor, if required, making sure to brace your body when the wheel nut ‘cracks’.
  • Step four: With the nuts slightly loosened, you can then fully jack the car so the wheel is just clear of the ground. Remove the nuts and keep the wheel in place using your knee or toes until both hands are free to remove the wheel.
  • Step five: Once the wheel is off, place the spare wheel on and secure it in place by loosely fitting the top nut first and then loosely fit the remaining nuts.
  • Step six: Carefully lower the car so the wheel touches the ground before fully tightening the nuts in a diagonal sequence.
  • Step seven: With the nuts tightened, place the tools and damaged wheel in the carrier or boot-well ,and you’re good to go.
  • Step eight: At the first opportunity, check the tyre pressure of the wheel you have just fitted to make sure it is correct and get the damaged tyre replaced as soon as possible.
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