Would you know what to do if you got a flat tyre while out driving?
Apart from being a hassle, it can raise some safety concerns when you have to pullover roadside to sort it. The ability to change over a flat tyre is what you’d call a good life skill to have under your belt. So if it’s one you don’t currently possess - check out our step-by-step guide.
First things first, the moment you become aware that you have a flat tyre, you should stop the car as soon as possible to limit damage to the tyre. If driven on in a deflated state for any period of time, the tyre can debead or disintegrate, damaging rims and potentially causing loss of vehicle control. Plus, in most cases, punctured tyres can be repaired at a fraction of the cost of a replacement tyre.
When stopping the car, try to find a place where you are as far away from the passing traffic as possible. If you can park on a flat, hard, level area too - that’s even better. You’ll also need to leave enough room beside the vehicle so that you can actually get in there to replace the tyre with your spare.
For instructions detailing how to remove the flat tyre and fit your spare tyre can be found in your vehicle owner’s manual - so keep it in your glovebox at all times! As a general guide though, the procedure usually goes as follows:
Use your wheel brace to loosen all the wheel nuts. Only just loosen the nuts off a little bit.
Next use your jack to raise the corner of the vehicle until the flat tyre is off the ground. Consult your owners manual for the recommended places to use a jack on the underbody of your car. Remember you will need to have enough clearance to fit the spare, which will need more room because it is inflated.
Once the wheel is high enough, remove all the wheel nuts and the wheel will come off.
Lift your spare into position and tighten all the wheel nuts as tight as possible with the wheel still off the ground.
Use the jack to lower the vehicle back onto the ground.
Once on the ground, remove the jack and use your wheel brace to re-tighten the wheel nuts.
Remember to have your flat tyre repaired or replaced as soon as possible. You don’t want to experience another flat tyre only to remember that your spare is flat!
If your car comes equipped with a space saver tyre (they're the funny little ones that generally have a brightly coloured centre) then the process is a little different.
One final note about changing a flat tyre roadside - if you don’t feel confident carrying out the procedure yourself, then there are companies, which provide a roadside assistance service. This means that you can give them a call and have a mechanic come to you, wherever you may be, and change the tyre for you.