Learning Center / Flat Tire 101: What to Do

flat tire

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Most people think that having a flat tire is no big deal. Yet, do you know what to do if you actually get a flat? Think about it for a moment, don’t just assume. Do you have all of the tools in your car or truck? Do you have a spare tire? Is the spare tire the right size for your vehicle? If you can’t say yes to all of those questions, without a shadow of a doubt, then obviously you are not as prepared as you thought you were.

Flat tires can occur for a number of reasons. It could be due to the car sitting for an extended period of time and the air within the tire got cold and condensed. You could have driven over an obstruction and punctured the wall of the tire, or you could have had an old fashion blowout which can result from the tires getting far too hot.

Preparing for A Flat Tire

Most people assume that everything they need to change a flat tire is situated nicely in the trunk of the car, thanks to the manufacturer. Unfortunately, all you get is a tire iron and a small car jack. These are the bare bones basics required to change a tire, yet there are more things you could add to your vehicle to make the job a lot easier, such as:

Changing A Flat Tire

  1. Make sure the vehicle is pulled off to the shoulder or side of the road and turn your hazard lights on. Prior to exiting the vehicle, contact someone and inform them about the situation, give them your location and let them know you will contact them once you are finished.
  2. Refer to your owner’s manual to locate a “hard point” on the underside of your vehicle. Once this part of the frame has been located, position the jack under the car and begin to lift the vehicle. Make sure that the car is up high enough to safely remove the tire, roughly 3 to 4 inches off the ground.
  3. The next step involves removing the hubcap; you can use the tire iron to help remove this. After the hubcap has been removed, begin removing the nuts from the tire and placing them inside the storage bag.
  4. Remove the tire and roll it to the opposite side or rear of the car. Grab the spare and place it into position.
  5. Place the nuts back onto the bolts of the car and hand tighten them all. After they have been hand tightened, use the tire iron to tighten them the rest of the way.
  6. Reattach the hubcap and return all of the equipment to its proper location inside of the vehicle.
  7. Contact the person you originally spoke with and let them know that you have finished and will be driving momentarily.
  8. Check for traffic before moving back into the driving lane and turn off your hazard lights.
  9. Ensure you get your tire replaced as soon as possible. Spare tires are only meant for short term use, and the longer you drive on a spare, the more damage you may do to your vehicle.

Changing a tire doesn’t have to be a scary or complicated situation. It is a skill that everyone should have and if you do not know how to change a tire, ask someone who does to show you how. You can also use this article as a reference guide to ensure that no matter what happens, you are prepared thanks to Treadhunter!