Changing a flat tyre is a skill that all drivers should learn. A flat tyre can happen at any moment, but as long as you’re prepared with everything you need, you can change it out quickly and be back on the road in no time.
It’s best to keep all of your supplies in your car, stored in the boot, in case of an emergency. Keep in mind that most newer car models do not come with a spare tyre, so you may need to double check if your vehicle comes with one. If not, it’s a good idea to purchase one as soon as possible.
As soon as you realise you have a flat tyre, don’t panic. Reduce speed and pull over to a safe location. Put your car in neutral and set the emergency hand brake. Turn on the hazard lights to alert other drivers of your presence. Place the reflective warning markers or flashers approximately 30 metres behind your car. Pull out the owner’s manual.
If your tyre has a hubcap, it’s easier to loosen the lug nuts if you remove it first. Use the lug nut wrench to turn the lug nuts counterclockwise, but don’t remove them quite yet. At this point, you’ll need to lift the car off the ground with the jack. Check the owner’s manual for the location of the “jack point”, on the same side as the flat tyre. Once the jack is properly positioned, raise the car about 15 cm above the ground. Be especially careful not to place any part of your body under the vehicle, in case the jack gets knocked loose. Once the tyre has been lifted off the ground, completely remove the lug nuts. Because they have already been loosened, you may be able to remove them by hand.
Carefully pull the flat tyre off the hub and set it aside, laying it down on its side so it doesn’t roll away. Take the spare tyre and line it up with the lug bolts on the hub, then push carefully until the bolts show through the rim. Use the lug nut wrench to tighten the lug nuts until they are firm, but not fully tightened. Lower the jack carefully until the wheel is firmly on the ground. Tighten the lug nuts all the way, applying equal torque to all the wheel studs.
Completely lower the jack and remove it from under your car. Stow everything back into your car, turn off your hazard lights, and make sure you don’t exceed highway speeds with the temporary spare tyre.
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