Emergencies and Breakdowns

How to deal with a flat tyre.

It is possible to change the car tyres fast and without making a mess of your car and yourself by learning certain tricks. The first among them is keeping your calm.

Flat Tyre

Park the vehicle on firm, level and non-slippery ground away from traffic. Turn on the hazard warning lights and turn the ignition switch to LOCK (0). Remove the keys and put them in your pocket.

Warning: If the vehicle is in a dangerous or extremely busy location, have no hesitation in asking for roadside or police assistance.

Warning: You are recommended to wear heavy-duty gloves and a high visibility jacket where available. Wheels and tyres can be hot or, in a blowout situation the source of puncture or wire from the tyre itself can cause injury.

Tip: Place blocks in front of and behind the wheel diagonally opposite the wheel that you are changing.

If you suspect a puncture in the tyre, follow these steps one by one:

1. Switch off the ignition and engage the hand brake.

2. You will either, need to take out the carpet of your car boot and remove the spare tyre, jack, and wheel wrench, or lower the spare wheel down from under the car. (You will find instruction in the car handbook).

3. Before you jack up the vehicle loosen the wheel nuts on the tyres.

4. Now use the car jack to raise up the vehicle wheel off the ground. You will find jack instructions in the manufacturer’s manual, however, you may also find instructions printed on the jack or other portions of storage areas.

5. Now you need to remove the wheel nuts from the tyres; again maintain your calm and put them safely aside.

6. Remove the flat tyre and keep it on one side.

7. Now put the new tyre on the car. Tighten the wheel nuts just lightly. You need to give the final tightening when the car is off the jack. Double check so that the holes in the tyre rightly align with the studs that stick out. Also make sure to place the tyre on with the air valve facing you. Take a cue from other the tyres while trying this step.

8. Now slowly lower the jack and let the wheel touch the road. Use your wheel spanner to tighten all of the wheel nuts securely.

9. Make sure you have put all the tools and the flat tyre back into the boot of your car.

10. Give a thorough check to the wheel nuts for the last time to see it is tightened properly.

A last note of advice to help you avoid ruin your day completely; get your flat tyre repaired at the first chance you get, just in case you get another puncture. Sometimes the spare wheel can be a "spacesaver" wheel and often doesn’t allow you to drive for more than certain distance, or above a certain mileage, again check the manufacturers handbook.