When was the last time that you removed a wheel and tyre from your own car? For many people, the answer may be never. After all, when they get new tyres fitted, they will take their vehicle into a tyre shop and have a professional do it for them. However, if you're unfortunate enough to get a puncture caused by a nail or other object when driving down the road, you may find that you're in trouble. In this situation, you may well have to call out an emergency towing service to tow your vehicle simply because you can't change the wheel. How can you avoid this situation?
When you take your vehicle into a tyre fitting shop, the employees do a great job of fitting the new tyre and then balancing and tracking your car. However, they are used to using a special torque wrench, which is often pneumatic. It certainly tightens the wheel nuts properly, but in many cases it may become difficult for an average person to remove them in the future.
What Has Gone Wrong?
When you find yourself at the side of the road with a flat tyre, you may well be able to jack the car up using the tools found in the boot, but you may go red in the face trying to loosen the nuts. It's possible that they have oxidised to a certain extent, where the nuts have reacted to the wheel hub itself, but most likely the nuts were essentially "overtightened" when your new tyres were fitted.
How to Fix the Problem
Essentially, you just don't have enough leverage when you use the standard (and very small) tool that comes with an average car. You need to buy an extension, which you can put over the end that you grab hold of. This will allow you to get more purchase and be able to apply greater force to the situation. You can look for this type of extension, or even a purpose made extendable spanner, at a typical car parts store. If you really want to be sure, loosen and tighten each bolt on each wheel when you get back from the tyre fitting shop, but don't forget to tighten them properly.
That's All Very Well, but…
If you don't have an extension and haven't touched your wheels since you got those new covers, you may need to call out a breakdown service to help you on this occasion.