Anyone who drives is going to get a flat tire from time to time. Even the best-built tires are going to be vulnerable to damage. It’s rare, but you should know what to do if you get a flat, and how to get flat tire repair services fast.
I. Being Prepared
A driver should be thinking ahead and be prepared for a flat before it happens.
Most importantly, you should always have a spare tire in your vehicle. Keep an eye on it and check it once a month to ensure that it’s still properly inflated. The last thing you want is to get a flatand discover that your spare is also flat!
You’ll also want to have tools in place to handle the flat yourself if hiring a flat tire repair service isn’t an option. This includes:
- Wheel wedges
- A jack
- A lug wrench that matches your wheel lugs
- Work gloves
- Warning/hazard signs
You might also consider keeping a can of flat repair spray, or a small air compressor, in the trunk as well. Sometimes a flat is simply a poorly inflated tire, and all it needs is air.
II. Changing Your Tire
Most of the time, if you have the tools, you should be able to change the tire yourself.
1 – Pull over safely
If you’re on the road, you want to pull over to the shoulder, as far away from traffic as possible. Put on the handbrake and turn off the engine but leave the power on so that you can turn on your hazard lights. If you have hazard signs, put them up in the direction of incoming traffic.
2 – Get your tools
That would be everything mentioned above.
3 – Block your tires
Even with the handbrake on, you want to make sure your car can’t move. Use your wheel wedges to prevent the wheels from rolling backward. If you don’t have wedges, bricks or even large rocks can work.
4 – Remove the hubcap and loosen the lug nuts
It’s easier to loosen the lug nuts on the flat tire if the car is still on the ground, so loosen them first – but don’t completely remove them.
5 – Jack up the car
Every car has a few points with a reinforced structure designed for jacking it up, but you’ll need to check your owner’s manual to find them. Never use a jack on a place that isn’t built for it.
6 – Fully remove the tire
Now you can finish removing the lug nuts and remove the flat tire. Put it in your trunk.
7 – Attach the new tire
Putting new tires in place is simple. Then replace the lug nuts and tighten them as much as you can.
8 – Lower the car and clean up
That’s all you need to do. However, you should still go to the nearest tire shop to get a new tire. Spares are not intended to be driven on indefinitely.
Best Tire Center is Washington’s source for tires, wheels, and wheel maintenance services. Click here to find your nearest location!