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It can happen to anyone, no matter how new or old your car. And, it can happen in the most unlikely of places in the most inconvenient circumstances.A flat tire is something that everyone should know how to fix and/or change, especially in cases where you are not a member of a travel club that can come out and fix it for you or you are in a remote area where you cannot call for help. Read the following tips of what to do from pulling off to the side of the road, to driving away with your doughnut.
While most modern steel-belted radial tires provide thousands of miles of trouble-free driving, there is still a possibility that your tire could get punctured by debris, experience a blow out, or just go flat. When any of those incidents happen, you need to be prepared.
Sometimes you may realize you have a flat tire when you head to the driveway to start your car. But more often, a flat tire occurs while driving. If one of your tires is punctured by highway debris while driving, the first thing you need to do is bring your vehicle to a complete and safe stop out of traffic’s way. It’s really important not to panic when this happens, but instead to remain calm. It may be a reaction to slam on the brakes. Don’t! This will make things worse. Just put on your blinker and pull over on the side of the road. Once stopped as far of the road as you can get, put on your flashers.
Before you attempt to do anything, you should make sure that your car is on a level surface. If not, you should try to move your car up the road a little ways to find a better area. Your first step is to make sure your car is in PARK. (If you are panicking, you may forget this obvious step as you exit your car!) If you are driving a vehicle with a manual transmission, place it in REVERSE. All passengers should exit the car as well and remain a safe distance from the road.
Your first step will be of course to make sure you have the necessities you need: a jack, spare tire and tool kit. Every car should have these. (This means not removing them when you are trying to find room for luggage!) You will want to remove these items from the trunk or hatchback and place them on the ground next to the flat tire.
Next, jack up the car. Jacks will vary by type of car, but chances are your owner’s manual will give you instructions on how to use the one that came with your vehicle. Before you jack of the car, if you can find some rocks, place one behind the wheel on the opposite side (diagonal). This will ensure that your car does not move during the process. Then, raise the vehicle just enough for the tire to clear the ground.
Start to remove the lug nuts with the socket wrench. Be sure you don’t lose these! Take the wheel cover off, and then remove the flat tire. Next, put on the spare tire, replace wheel cover and secure with the nuts. Tighten them as much as possible. Next, lower the car just so the wheel touches the ground. Gather up your tools and flat tire and replace in your trunk.
Remove the tires from the vehicle, inspect for unusual wear or damage and reinstall the tires to the appropriate new position. The tires will be removed and inspected for unusual wear or damage. They will be moved to the appropriate location in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation. The tires will be reinstalled and the wheels torqued to the proper value. This is important to maximize tire mileage.
Approximate Time: 15 Minutes *
* Time may vary by vehicle, this is a guide only
Price Range: Get Tire Quote for Price *
* Estimate Only