Curriculum - Vocational - Lesson plan The wheel deal

28th May 2010 at 01:00
Tyre maintenance is essential to ensure the roadworthiness and legality of a vehicle. It is also important that students know how to perform the work safely

What the lesson is about

In this unit, students learn how to identify types of road wheels and tyres and understand their construction and correct use. They are also taught how to carry out practical tasks such as replacing tyres and balancing wheels. It is part of a complete workbook, including engines, ignition systems and cooling and lubrication systems, and is aimed at post-16 engineering students.

Aims: for students to know how to

- work safely;

- remove and replace road wheels;

- inspect road wheels;

- replace tyres;

- balance wheels.

- Students also need to understand the importance of tyre maintenance.

Getting started

Ask students to describe how to jack up a car safely. Using a diagram, ask them to mark safe jacking points and where axle stands should go. Why should they use a torque wrench when fitting road wheels? Why should they use axle stands when working underneath a vehicle? Where would they find information about vehicle jacking points?

In the first practical activity, students should safely jack up a vehicle using a trolley jack and axle stands. Once it has been safely supported, they should change the wheels to minimise wear by diagonal rotation. They should list all the tools they used and the safety precautions they took. Ask them to measure the wheel nut torque and the tread depth on all four tyres and the spare.

Students should use the internet or library to research wheels and tyres, paying particular attention to common faults, serviceability and maintenance requirements.

Ask them to give three examples of common faults found on road wheels and to name two tyre construction types. Give them a diagram of a tyre on which they should mark the bead, tread, belts, liner and sidewall. What is the minimum permissible tread depth on a car? What area should the minimum tread depth cover?

Show them a diagram of a tyre sidewall and ask them to label each part. Show them pictures of an under- and over-inflated tyre. Which is which?

Taking it further

In the second practical activity, students should remove a road wheel and inspect it for signs of damage. If there is damage, they should repair it if at all possible, using the appropriate tools and equipment.

Ask them to balance the wheel with either a static or dynamic balancer. Ask them to record technical data: the wheel nut torque and the size, pressure and tread depth for each tyre. Ask them to list all the tools they used and the safety precautions they took.

Students should research tyre legislation, wheel types and tyre balancing theory. Ask them to mark the area of a tyre that can be legally repaired. Is a tyre still safe to use if there is a cut or a bulge in the sidewall that has not punctured the tyre? Ask them to explain how to dispose of used tyres.

Where to find it

The complete workbook, including diagrams, was originally uploaded by fighter998 and can be found at

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