Safety and Changing Your Tyres
A few handy tips from Mike and Lloyd
If a front tyre blows out, your car will pull towards the side with the blown tyre. If it’s a rear tyre, the back of your car might sway from side to side. Keep calm and work through the following guidelines.
Your first instinct when your tyre blows out will probably be to hit the brakes. Resist this urge with all you’ve got, as it could result in your car spinning.
- Don’t brake suddenly.
- Steer the car straight ahead and don’t steer off the road onto the gravel. Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel ease your foot off the accelerator and let your car slow down naturally. Once your speed is low enough, gently brake and steer your car to the side of the road and brake gently to stop.
- Find a safe place to pull off the road and if it means driving slowly only on flat to find a spot do so.
So what do you need to change a flat tyre?
The tools you will need to change a tyre will vary depending on the car. Check the owner’s manual to ensure you get the right tools and always keep them in your boot. As a general rule of thumb, changing a flat tyre will require a spare tyre, wheel brace and a jack (usually all packed together in with the spare). Steps for changing a flat tyre:
- Find a safe place to stop. When you feel you have a flat tyre, drive slowly until you find a safe place to change the tyre. The site must be firm to support the jack and far enough away from passing traffic for safety.
- Secure your car. It is very important you ensure the vehicle is properly secured before changing a tyre. Secure the handbrake, put your car in park, or first gear if it is a manual, and take the keys out of the ignition.
- Remove all passengers. Remove all passengers from the vehicle and ensure they are in a safe place away from passing traffic. Once this is done, remove the spare tyre.
- Remove the hub cap. Remove the hub cap or wheel nut covers (whichever is fitted to your vehicle).
- Loosen each wheel nut. Using your wheel brace, loosen each wheel nut to approximately one turn before jacking up the vehicle.
- Raise the car with the jack. Identify the correct jacking point. This will vary from car to car, so check your owner’s manual for details. Use the jack to raise the vehicle allowing for the weight to be removed from the flat tyre. Never get under the car or place body parts under the car while it is supported by the jack.
- Unscrew each wheel nut. Now that the wheel is off the ground, remove each wheel nut.
- Remove the flat tyre. It is a good idea to place the flat tyre under the car as an extra safety precaution. That way there is still something to support the vehicle in case the jack gives way.
- Place the spare tyre into position. Lift the spare wheel onto the hub, making sure it’s fitted properly against the wheel nuts.
- Screw the wheel nuts. Put each of the wheel nuts on by hand as far as they will go. You can now remove the flat tyre from under the car.
- Lower the car. Lower the jack until the weight of the new tyre is on the ground.
- Tighten the wheel nuts. Use the wheel brace to tighten each of the wheel nuts, following a diagonal pattern to centre the wheel. If your hubcap fits the new tyre, place it on the new wheel the same way you initially removed it.
- Restow all equipment. Restow the flat and tools in your vehicle.
Easy as that and you’re back on your way. Remember, it is worth stopping the car after you have been driving on the new tyre for a while to double check the wheel and wheel nut tension.