One of a driver’s worst nightmares is getting a flat tire. Flat tires aren’t fun for anyone, but they’re actually much easier to deal with than many other car problems. When a tire goes flat, there are a few things that you need to know in order to keep your car in control, pull over to the side of the road, and get the tire changed.
What Causes a Flat Tire?
Flat tires can have many different causes. Road debris, such as a nail or other small sharp pieces of metal, could puncture your tire. A feature of the road, such as a pothole or a crack, may cause you to have a flat tire. Sometimes your tire just turns out to be faulty.
How Do You Know When a Tire Goes Flat?
When a tire goes flat, there are a few signs that will immediately alert you to its presence. First, you’ll probably be able to feel the flat tire. A flat tire will affect your car’s handling, and you should feel some sluggishness when accelerating, or you may notice your car pulling to the side of the flat tire.
What to Do?
When a tire goes flat you need to do the following things.
- Don’t slam on your brakes. Instead, brake slowly and pull over to the side of the road.
- Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights.
- Turn off the engine.
Once your car is off to the side of the road, you can gather your tire-changing tools and replace the tire. Here are the tools you need.
- Car Jack
- Tire Wrench
- Spare Tire
How to Change a Flat Tire
Changing a flat tire is an easy process. Here are the steps:
1. Engage the Emergency Brake
2. Jack Up the Vehicle: Look in your owner’s manual for the correct place to put the car jack and then jack up the vehicle.
3. Remove the Hubcap: If your vehicle has hubcaps on the wheels, you’ll need to remove them. Sometimes you can just pop these off, but some wheels require you to remove the lug nuts first.
4. Loosen the Lug Nuts: Take your tire wench and loosen all of the nuts on the flat tire.
5. Remove the Flat and Put on Your Spare: The flat should pull right off, and the spare should slide right on.
6. Lower the Jack and Put on the Lug Nuts: You want your car on a level surface when you put the nuts back on. Make sure when tightening them that you tighten one nut and then tighten a nut across from it until they are all tight. Don’t tighten the nuts in a circle because the wheel might be tightened on at an angle, and this can cause major problems when you drive down the road.