A nightmare for many drivers, a flat tyre often happens in the wrong place at the wrong time. Although many drivers subscribe to roadside assistance services that take care of changing your tyre, it proves wise and intelligent to know how to do it yourself. As a flat tyre is a fairly common occurrence, automakers have done as much as they can to make the process of changing a tyre something any individual can do. Here are the 7 steps that will help you deal with any flat tyre.
1. Stop the car in a safe place.
The first thing to do is to find a safe place to stop. If the flat tyre occurred on a motorway, take the next exit, even if it means riding with the tyre flat. Do not park in the middle of a curve, because approaching cars may not be able to see you. Find a place that is away from traffic as well as stable, developed and flat.
2. Take out your tools
Once you’re parked, turn off the engine, turn on your hazard lights and engage the handbrake. You should put it in gear (either first or possibly reverse) if it’s a manual transmission. If you have an automatic transmission, put it in “Park” (P). Then get the jack, the wheel wrench and the spare tyre in the car boot and set them near the flat tyre.
3. Put the jack in position.
Properly putting the jack in position is very important. Depending on the car model, the place where you position the jack may vary. Don’t hesitate to check the car manual to be sure. The jack has a small claw that is placed in the slots located just behind the front wheel house, or in front of the rear wheels.
3. Remove the wheel nuts.
Once the jack is correctly positioned, raise the vehicle, but don’t let it lose contact with the ground. Then, remove the hubcap and unscrew the wheel nuts by turning the wheel wrench to the left (counter-clockwise) without removing the rim. A cross wheel wrench is preferred for ease.
4. Lift the car
Raise the car until the tyre is 15 cm off the ground. Pay close attention to the jack. It must remain stable, straight and perpendicular. If this isn’t the case, lower the car and reposition the jack correctly.
5. Remove the flat tyre
With the car raised, remove the wheel nuts one by one, by unscrewing them counter-clockwise. Then, pull the flat tyre straight towards you, in a horizontal motion, in order to remove it from the wheel base.
6. Put on the spare wheel
Check the direction of your spare wheel before putting it on. The valve stem must be facing the outside. Place the wheel on the car and tighten the wheel nuts by hand. This must be achieved without resistance.
7. Return the vehicle to the ground
Gently lower your vehicle to the ground and finish tightening the wheel. Use the wheel wrench to tighten the wheel nuts as much as possible. Then replace the hubcap.
The job is complete! All that’s left is to store the flat tyre and tools in the boot.