In the event of a puncture, it’s not just the tyre that becomes flat. Our mood gets deflated too. As irritating as a flat tyre may be, it is not the end of the world. Here are some tips to make sure you get going within an hour of discovering your puncture.
1. Do not drive on a flat wheel
Driving a car with a flat tyre will only cause more damage, to a point where the tyre may rip itself clean off the rim. The moment the tyre pressure drops, pump it up if you’re close to an air pump. If it’s completely flat, it is best to change the tyre at the soonest opportunity.
2. Make sure it’s a safe place to change a tyre
An immobile car can attract unwanted attention, so it is best to not change a punctured tyre in an isolated area or on the hard shoulder of a busy road. Safety first!
3. Make sure you have all the tools
Your car comes with a basic set of tools that will help you replace your flat tyre, including a car jack and a lug wrench.
Make sure you have the necessary tools ready before you proceed with changing the tyre. The last thing you want is to start the process only to realise later that you haven’t got the tools to finish the job.
A. A car jack
B. A wheel wrench
C. Safety wheel blot
D. Tyre trim remover
E. A spare tyre, fully inflated
4. Remove the bolts
The actual part of changing your tyre starts with unfastening the nuts while the car is still on the ground. Make sure to loosen the nuts before jacking up the car. This can be done by using the lug wrench and twisting the lug nuts counter-clockwise.
Be sure to remove any cosmetic pieces on the wheel before doing this.
5. Jack the car up
Find the right jack position to lift the car up, which is the underside of the front or rear doors. For taller vehicles like SUVs and pick-up trucks, place the jack under the suspension arm.
Most jacks are operated the same way – clockwise movement to raise the car and counter-clockwise to lower it.
6. Remove the punctured wheel
Undo each lug nut completely. It will be good to undo each nut in an opposing sequence to ensure the nuts come off easily.
If your wheels consist of safety nuts that prevent people from stealing your precious rims, make sure you have the right nut key with you or else it will be a difficult and expensive day for you.
7. Place the spare wheel
Most cars come with a spare wheel, which could be either the same size as your other wheels or a ‘space saver’. A space saver is thinner than your usual tyres and would allow you to drive at about 80kph max. Make sure the spare wheel is fully inflated before using it – otherwise, it would be no different from your punctured wheel.
8. Fasten the bolts
Each wheel nut has to be fastened in the same way it was removed. When putting on the spare tyre, do not hold the wheel spokes but the outside of the tyre. Your hands will get dirty, but at least you won’t pinch your fingers against the wheel hub or brake calipers. Make sure all nuts are in all the way before tightening them down (clockwise).
9. Undo the jack
Bring the car down by undoing the jack counter-clockwise. Torque down each wheel once more before stowing your tool set and punctured tyre back in your car.
These steps will help you get your car mobile within an hour, as long as you have the right tools and a safe place to conduct the work. Besides a whole lot of sweat and stained palms, you will hopefully be able to resume your day without further hiccups.
Be sure to get that puncture handled by a trustworthy team like MisterTyre. Download the MisterTyre app now and find out more about the range of services provided.