Do you know how to change a tyre on your car? Have you ever had to do this yourself? If the answer to these questions is no – it’s probably a really good idea to find out and also get a bit of practice in. There is never a good time to get a flat tyre, and if this were to happen to you in the middle of nowhere, you should be in a position to help yourself.
Obviously, some preventative maintenance can help to avoid unexpected flats , although no guarantee. Check your tyre pressure regularly. If the tyre pressure is too low, it is easier for foreign sharp objects on the road to get into the sidewall of the tyre. You should also check your tyres for wear – and also to see whether there are any foreign objects like nails or large thorns, buried in the tyre. Check your spare tyre also – not too much use in a flat spare.
If one of your tyres is punctured while you are driving, you will notice that the steering pulls in one direction – slow down and safely pull off the road. Try to stop in a spot with space between the flat tyre and the road, and where you will be visible to other drivers. If you have roadside assistance – call them. If your car is equipped with run-flat tyres, you can proceed slowly to the nearest service station.
If you are going to change the tyre yourself, put on your hazards, and if you have a high-visibility vest, put this on, and follow the steps outlined below:
- Locate the spare tyre and the tools, as well as the owner’s manual
- Remove the hub cap if there is one, by prying it off with the sharp end of the lug wrench. Loosen the flat tyre’s lug nuts, without removing them entirely.
- Consult the owner’s manual to find out where to place the jack. Extend the jack until it reaches the underside of the car, and slowly raise the vehicle until it is about 6 cm from the ground, to allow you enough room to get the wheel off.
- Remove the loosened lug nuts, and take off the flat tyre by pulling it towards you. Replace it with the spare, sliding it onto the hub. Replace the lug nuts and finger tighten them.
- Slowly lower the car using the jack. Remove the jack once all of the weight is off the jack.
- Tighten the lug nuts on the spare tyre. Remember to tighten them so that they are fully secure, but not over-tightened. Replace and secure the hub cap.
- Put away the tools and the flat tyre in the boot