How to Safely Change Your Tyre on the Road
Flat tyres happen without warning and no one can adequately predict when they are going to have a flat tyre. However, since there is always the probability of having a flat tyre, it’s important to be prepared with the necessary tools so that you can easily change the tyre instead of waiting long hours for help to arrive. Some of the basic tools that you need to change a flat tyre include a jack, spare tyre, lug wrench, reflective “lifesaver” triangles and a chunk or block. Below, we are going to guide you on a step by step basis on how to safely change your tyre on the road.
If you want to know more about what to do in the event of a breakdown, you can refer to this post.
Stop at a safe location with even ground
Although it is not possible to control where to get a flat tyre, safety is paramount at all times. Once you get a flat tyre, make sure that the place you are stopping is relatively safe and open. It is better to drive slowly with the flat tyre to a decent location instead of stopping somewhere with a reputation of carjacking and mugging. Once you are in a safe location, ensure that you park on a relatively flat surface on the side of the road. Engage the parking brake and shift the car to parking or to gear one for manual transmissions. The area should also have hard solid ground to hold the car firmly.
Before you start the process of changing the tyre, it is important to make sure that you have all the necessary tools available. Remove the spare tyre from the trunk or wherever it is normally stored in your car and place it on the side of the road. Get the reflective triangles and place each of them about twenty meters in front and at the back of the car. This is to warn oncoming motorists that there is a problem ahead and they should slow down. This is especially very useful during rainy days or when visibility is not very good.
After this is done, get the chunks and place them especially at the front and back of the diagonally opposite tyres. This will prevent the car from rolling when you lift it up. If you don’t have a chunk you can improvise by using blocks, stones or anything rigid enough that can stop the car.
Removing the flat tyre
Take your lug wrench and loosen all the nuts on the wheel but do not completely remove them. Then, set the jack beneath the car near the wheel to be removed. Normally there are marks on where you should safely place your jack and you should refer to the car’s manual to know the right place to set the jack. Now, slowly lift up the car until the wheel is off the ground. Take the wrench and now completely remove the lug nuts from the wheel. Use both your hands to carefully pull out the tyre from the hub or axle.
Replacing the tyre
Take the spare tyre, and again using both hands align it to the hub or axle and push it in. Take the lug nuts and tighten them lightly back on the hub. Once the tyre is firm on the hub, slowly lower the jack until the car stands on its own. Now tighten the lug nights with sufficient force. Remember to tighten the lug nuts in a diagonally opposite pattern to ensure the tightening is even. Apply enough force on all the lug nuts until none of them is rotating anymore. Remove the jack from underneath the car, put back the wrench to its storage place and remove the chunks or blocks from the other tyres. Put the flat tyre in the trunk and take it to the nearest repair shop and finally do not forget to pick your reflective triangles before continuing with the journey.