What To Do When You Get A Flat Tire?

Let's admit it, a flat tire - whether on the highway or just around town - is a major inconvenience. There you are, minding your own business, when suddenly something doesn't feel right. Tell-tale signs that you have a flat tire might include

  1. Difficulty steering - especially when turning, changing lanes or travelling around curves in the road
  2. Poor acceleration, pulling to the affected side of the vehicle
  3. You hear a loud bang or thump

You stop, get out and discover that you have a flat tire. The last thing you want to do when you have a flat tire is to continue driving. Doing so would destroy the tire and likely damage the rim as well. So, what's to do? First, let's consider the potential cause.

A flat tire can be caused by a puncture, such as a nail or debris on the road surface, a leaking valve stem, improper seal between the tire and rim, excessive tire wear, tire failure or improper tire inflation - too little or too much. To learn more about the dangers of worn out tires, CLICK HERE. Whatever the cause, you're left with the reality of the situation - the tire will need to be changed.

There was a time when most everyone knew how to change a tire, but today, many people don't have a clue. In truth, the idea never occurs to most people until they're faced with a flat. Technology offers immediate assistance if you're willing to wait for a tow truck or roadside assistance to arrive. However, changing a flat tire is easy if you're prepared.

When you have a flat, pull over, out of the way of traffic and (if possible) onto a safe, level area of the road. If you're in town, you may slowly pull into a parking lot. Avoid driving on the flat tire any more than necessary. If you're stopped along the edge of the road, turn on your hazard lights to alert other motorists, especially at night. Get out of your vehicle and inspect the tires. Likely, only one will be flat, but never assume so - check them all. Once you've done so, and you're capable of doing so, you're ready to change your tire. For this, you will need a jack, lug wrench and of course, a spare tire. Your vehicle should be equipped with all three.

Here are ten simple steps for changing a flat tire

  1. Turn on hazard lights and find a safe, level spot to pull over.
  2. Remove your jack, lug wrench and spare tire. (Refer to your Owner's Manual usually stored in your glove compartment)
  3. Few vehicles today have hub caps, but if yours is one, use the pointed end of the lug wrench to remove it. Then use the wrench to loosen the lug nuts. Turn the lug nuts counterclockwise. Do not remove the nuts. The lug nuts will be tight, so loosening them may take some effort.
  4. Place the jack where indicated in your Owner's Manual. Most modern vehicles use scissor jacks. Once in position, crank the jack until the flat tire is off the ground.
  5. Remove the lug nuts and carefully remove the tire from the vehicle.
  6. Line up the holes in the spare tire with the wheel studs.
  7. Push the spare tire onto the wheel studs.
  8. Replace the lug nuts, tighten by hand and then snug with the wheel wrench.
  9. Lower the jack and using the lug wrench, thoroughly tighten all the lug nuts.
  10. Stow all the equipment, including the flat tire, back into your vehicle.
That's it! Remember to take it easy if you're travelling on a doughnut spare, as it is not intended for extended use or highway speeds. Even if you have a full-sized spare, you'll still need to bring your flat to Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centre for affordable repair or replacement. Learn about how to tell the difference between a Doughnut and Full-size Spare HERE.At Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centre, we offer a variety of brand name tires for every make and model of vehicle. And we offer you the best price on a new set of replacement tires with our Price Match Promise. GET A QUOTE TODAY. We'll keep you safe on the road today and every day. To read more tips and information on Tire Maintenance, Tire Safety and How-Tos please visit our Tire Blog Library.
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