A flat tyre can be a real problem if you don’t know what to do. Many people never experience it in all their years of driving, but for others, it might happen on a regular basis. Either way, it’s handy to have a process in mind for how to react when the situation arises. Below we explore what you should do if you get a flat tyre.
Noticing the problem
Sometimes you might notice that you have a flat tyre when you’re stationary. Perhaps it’s evident when you’re about to step into your car. But there are certain ways to notice the flat while driving too. The car will mostly likely pull to one side, or you’ll find that it’s now harder to steer or manoeuvre the vehicle.
Safely pulling over
The first step is to make sure you halt your vehicle in a safe spot. Once you realise or suspect that you have a flat tyre, you should get to safety by carefully moving onto the hard shoulder. You could stop at a petrol station or a safe street. Just make sure that you give other drivers plenty of notice by putting on your hazard signal.
Replace or repair the tyre
Ideally you have a spare tyre somewhere in the car – if you don’t then it’s good practice to make sure you have one handy in the future. You can buy tyres online to sort this out. If there’s no spare tyre, then hopefully you at least have a tyre repair kit available. This will include a sealant and air compressor for you to fix the tyre yourself – at least temporarily. If not, then you should have a reliable roadside assistance programme to repair your car.
Changing the tyre yourself
If you have the necessary equipment and spare tyre, you can then consider changing it yourself. First, you’ll need to lift the car – the jack needs to be raised so the heel is clear of the ground. Then you need to loosen the nuts and bolts to remove the current tyre. After this, you should attach the new tyre. It’s a similar process: place it in the required area and then tighten the top nut/bolt and work your way around the tyre diagonally. Once you’re back on the road, make sure you store the damaged vehicle in the boot. Then recheck the replacement tyre at the end of the journey.
A flat tyre doesn’t have to ruin your day. By having the correct equipment (spare tyres and repair kits) to resolve the issue on the side of the road, you should be able to get back up and running quickly.