After months of staying close to home, the easing of lockdown could mean it’s time to get back in the car. It might be a return to the daily commute. Or maybe you’re planning a staycation in the UK? Whatever the reason, it’s time to ensure your car is in good working order – especially if it hasn’t been moved for a while. And this means being ready for some of the common issues you might face out on the road. A flat tyre that needs changing is definitely one of those.
If the worst happens and you damage a tyre, it doesn’t need to be a big drama. You don’t even need to call out the breakdown services. Here’s how to get it sorted and back on your way…
Check you have the equipment you need
It’s a good idea to do this one before you leave home. Otherwise, changing a flat tyre while out on the road becomes harder – if not impossible. So, is your car prepared for the worst? Is there a jack in your boot? Do you have the wheel nut or a spanner set to remove the affected wheel?
You shouldn’t even assume that you have a spare tyre!
Loosen your wheel nuts and lift your car
If your tyre becomes damaged, the first thing to do is come to a safe stop. Once you do, you’re ready to get started. The first thing is to check you can actually remove the wheel nuts. It’s not guaranteed and, if you can’t with your own tools, you’ll need the breakdown service after all.
At this point, make sure you have everything out of the car that you need for the job.
Using the locking key and wrench, loosen the nuts. If they start to give – great. But only loosen them to begin with. Don’t remove the wheel until you’ve lifted your car up. To do this, use your jack and find the jacking point near the affected wheel. This should be shown by an arrow.
Swap your affected wheel for your spare
With your car up on the jack, you can now take off those loosened wheel nuts – and then next comes the wheel itself. It could be heavy, and it could need a little encouragement. But, in the end, it should come off easily enough.
Take your spare and slide it onto the axle in place of the wheel you just removed. Replace your wheel nuts and tighten them with your locking key or spanner set. Double check that your nuts are securely tightened before lowering your car and removing the jack.
Do you need to visit a garage or tyre shop?
Today, there are different types of spare tyres. Some are full-size spares that you can probably keep driving on as long as it meets legal requirements. But others are only short-term fixes. If that sounds like yours, you’ll need to visit a garage or tyre shop to get a proper replacement.