Getting a flat or puncturing a tyre is a nuisance that happens quite easily and can happen to anyone. Changing a tyre always looks so easy, but that is usually when someone else is doing it.
It is very important that whether we are driving or in the passenger seat, to always know what to do and what to avoid when changing a tyre.
Below are dos and don’ts of a simple and safe tyre change:
Do always travel with a spare
How will you be able to change a flat tyre if you have nothing to replace the damaged tyre with? Ensure your spare tyre is correctly inflated to get you home or to your desired destination safely.
Do always ensure you have a well-stocked toolkit
No matter how packed your trunk or storage area, a good toolkit is essential. You will need a sturdy jack to elevate the vehicle; a wrench for loosening lug-nut; a flashlight for added safety, depending on how well-lit your area is, as well as a sturdy piece of board or stone to ensure the stability and safety of the vehicle.
Do ensure your vehicle is stable and safe while you change the tyre
Flats always seem to happen in the most inconvenient places and at the worst times. Do ensure the vehicle is clear of traffic, in a well-lit area and on a hard, level surface. If the vehicle is on an incline, now is the time to make use of your trusty board and ensure all wheels are at the same angle. This protects you, your vehicle and those around you.
Do remain calm if you blow or puncture a tyre
Do not slam your brakes or attempt to immediately pull off the road, this may cause you to lose control of the vehicle. Try steering the vehicle and avoid swerving off the road until it has slowed down.
Do not tighten your lug nuts too much
This common mistake leads to damaging the nuts and making it difficult to remove them later on. Once you are unable to move the wrench around, you are good to go.
Do not cross-thread your tyres
This happens when the lug-nut and stud threads do not mesh up together. Possibly due to wear and tear or over-tightening of nuts, another major cause of cross-threading is fastening the nut at a wrong angle. Avoid cross-threading by using the correct lubricant on your threads.
Do not drive on your spare any longer than is absolutely necessary
Spares should only be used for emergencies; as soon as possible return to your full-sized tyre.
Don’t wait until you have a flat tyre to check on your spare
Routinely ensure that your vehicle has all the necessary tools to get you out of a jam, wherever and whenever.