Having a flat-tyre is one of the most frightening things for most people as they either do not have the right tools to change tyres or are unaware of the process. Knowing how to change a tyre is a life skill irrespective of whether you drive your car on a regular basis or not. A lot of us are now dependent on our drivers or mechanics for doing even a basic tyre change. With this skill in your bag, you’ll be a more confident driver and not scared about getting stranded with a flat tyre while on your own. Before changing a tyre, keep in mind that you’re in a safe location and remain calm about the process. Panic will only lead to more trouble.
Here’s a list of tools one should keep in their car at all times -
● Owner’s Manual - The owner manual usually contains certain safety instructions and also tips on changing the car. This could be useful in case you’re a first-time tyre changer as it will contain small details of importance.
● Wrench - This is for loosening and tightening lug nuts on the wheel
● Jack - Jacks are provided with the vehicle in most cases and are useful to lift the car up by a few inches to make the process of changing easier.
● Spare Tyre - Always keep a spare tyre in your car in case of any emergency
● Torch - This is an optional requirement, this can be useful in case of any night emergency.
Once the tyre-changing essentials are covered, it’s time to change the flat tyre by following these steps -
● The first thing to do is to slowly and safely move your vehicle away from the road to ensure the safety of other cars on the road as well as your own. Look for shoulders where you can park safely. Once your car is in a safe place, make sure to switch on your hazard lamps to be visible to the traffic on the road.
● The next thing is to apply brakes when changing the tyre to make sure your car doesn't move. For extra support, you can block your car by putting in wood or bricks around at least 2 tyres. This will prevent the car from rolling and help keep the car stationary while you change the flat tyre.
● Ensure you have all your tools ready and then you can start loosening the bolts of the flat tyre. Move the wrench in an anticlockwise direction and give it a tug for the bolts to loosen up, it’s also advisable to look at the car manual as every car differs. Make sure that the bolts are only loose and not completely out.
● The next step is to jack the car up for easy changing. There is a specific point near the wheels where the jack should be attached. For further clarity refer to the car manual.
● Once the car is jacked up, remove the loosened wheel nuts completely and keep them safely on the side. Then apply some pressure and the punctured wheel should be out.
● Now it’s time to place the new tyre correctly to the wheel bolts. This step can be physically taxing so you might require some help here. Be patient in placing the new tyre as it’s important to do this absolutely correctly.
● Once the tyre is placed correctly, use the wrench to put in the wheel nuts and tighten it. Once done, you can slowly lower your vehicle with the jack.
● Store your flat tyre and other tools safely in your car and make sure to not leave anything on the road for safety reasons. Once you’re on your way again, don’t forget to five your punctured tyre for repair at your regular mechanic or a reputed one in case you’re away from your home base.
This tyre-changing process should typically take up to 30 minutes and once done you can be back on the road. We also recommend that in case you have motor insurance you can request roadside assistance. Most insurance providers give aid in unforeseen situations, thus, along with knowing this skill, it’s important to have the right kind of motor insurance policy. Click here to know more about the Chola car insurance programs.