Many drivers have never, in their entire driving career, changed an automobile's tyre. Even those who have changed a tyre or two don't do so on a regular basis, so it's likely that they'll overlook a step in the process. No matter which category you fall into, review how to change a tyre a few times a year and remember these five things that are commonly forgotten when changing tyres. Print them off, along with a copy of directions on how to change a tyre and stick them in your car so that you have them when you need them most.
Check to see if your spare tyre is in good, working condition. You'll need to do this from time to time at home as there's nothing you can do about changing your flat tyre if you don't have an adequate replacement. Ensure that a car jack is present in the boot of your vehicle. Place a note on your calendar, or set a reminder on your smart phone, to check the spare tyre's air pressure, that it's not bald and that it hasn't been damaged in some way. This is especially important if you've bought a used vehicle as many people don't think to check the spare before they purchase the auto.
Pull off the Road
Pull completely off of the road, as far away from traffic as possible. Far too many people are killed alongside the road during the tyre-changing process. You also need to be on a paved, flat surface, so take that into consideration while trying to find a place to stop. Of course you have little control over where you are when your tyre goes flat, so you'll have to make do with your surroundings.
If you don't feel that you're in a safe area or you're by yourself and can't get your car off of the road, call for help. Oftentimes, insurance companies like Budget Direct will offer cheap car insurance and roadside assistance to cover repairs of this nature. Police or your local motorists club can also be counted on to help in situations like this. Additionally, consider keeping a set of flags or flares and a reflective vest in the boot of your car so that you can alert traffic to your stopped vehicle.
Make sure that your vehicle's handbrake is secure. This is to prevent your car from starting to roll away while you're working on changing the tyre. To further ensure that your car won't move, place a large rock, brick or heavy object under the remaining tyres.
Don't misplace the lug nuts after you remove them from the wheel. To prevent those tiny pieces of metal from rolling away or getting misplaced, place them in your pockets or a cup-holder in the car.
Remember to drive slower once the spare tyre is in place. If it truly is a smaller-sized spare, the top speed of the tyre should be written on its sidewall. They're not made for high-speed driving on the motorway, so keep your speed down unless you want to be stranded with another flat.
Of course, the best way to make sure that you don't forget anything when changing a tyre is to not have to change it in the first place. Take great care in maintaining optimal air pressure in your tyres so that they are up to their daily task of getting you and your family around town. You can buy your own air pressure gauge and check the pressure each time you fill up with petrol. If your auto's tyres are running a little low, take a few minutes to fill them up.
About the Author:
By day, Matthew Reyes is a college admissions counselor. He spends evenings in his man cave watching sports, playing video games and surfing the Internet.