Dealing with a Flat Tyre

Dealing with a Flat Tyre

Getting a flat tyre is by far the most common type of vehicle breakdown both on the pavement and off. Just as every driver should be familiar with the basic tyre-changing procedure, every vehicle needs to have the proper tools for a tyre change at all times. The following are some tips for dealing with a flat tyre no matter where you are.

Be Well-Equipped

Everyone will have to deal with a flat eventually, and it could happen anytime, anywhere. That is why you should never leave home without your spare tyre, jack kit and lug wrench. If you are off-roading, you may also need a winch and winch rope to pull yourself out of a muddy spot so that you have better access to your tyre. Ways that you can limit excessive wear on your tyres over time, to help prevent a flat, include maintaining your wheel bearings, rotating the tyres often, maintaining proper tyre balance and vehicle alignment, and letting down the air pressure when off-roading.

Flat Tyre

Prepare for Changing the Tyre

When you hear that dreaded flopping sound of a flat tyre, you should pull over as soon as possible before you destroy the rim of the wheel. Find the flattest available spot, so that you don’t have to worry about your vehicle rolling when it’s jacked up, and make sure your car is in park and that the emergency brake is engaged. Before you start with the jack, remove the hubcap and loosen the lug nuts while the car is still on the ground, because if you wait until the car is jacked up, the tyre will just spin in a frustrating manner.

Using the Jack

The jack can’t be placed in just any old spot under the car. To get the most effective lift – or any lift at all – the jack must be placed underneath the car’s suspension at the point closest to the flat tyre. The owner’s manual of your car will have a diagram explaining the best place for the jack on your particular model of car. When you begin cranking the jack, double-check its placement once it comes into contact with the car, and then continue cranking. You should get the flat tyre just high enough off the ground so that it can be easily removed and replaced.

Replacing the Tyre

Once the car is jacked up and there is a sufficient amount of clearance under the tyre, you can finish removing the lug nuts from the wheel. At this point, you should be able to remove them by hand. When you remove the tyre, lay it flat while you slide on the spare, put the lug nuts back on, and tighten them by hand until you meet firm resistance. From here, all you have to do is lower the jack until the wheel is firmly on the ground and finish tightening the lug nuts with your lug wrench.

Changing a tyre is super-simple as long as you have all the right tools and techniques, but don’t forget to replace the spare with a new tyre as soon as possible, as spares aren’t meant to be driven on for long distances.

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