(Photo Credit: Big Tire America)
Changing a flat tyre is a skill that every driver should possess.
Instead of relying on others for help, you can easily change a car tyre in 20 minutes flat (pun intended). All you need is the right tools and the willingness to get your hands dirty. Flat tyres are fairly common on the road, so it might be wise to pick up this handy skill.
If you ever get a flat tyre, all you need are the tools below. They should be found in the boot of your vehicle.
(Photo credit: Shutterstock)
Tools You Will Need:
Car Jack (Scissor jack)
L-shaped or X-shaped Lug Wrench (Wheel wrench)
A working torchlight
Wheel wedge (A brick or a large rock will suffice as well)
1. Find a Safe Spot Away from Traffic
(Photo credit: Europcar)
If you get a flat tyre while on the road, remember to slow down, turn your hazard lights on, and slowly drive to a safe spot to change your tyre. Ideal locations include a wide, empty road or car park.
Remember to find a flat, even road to change your tyre. This will prevent your vehicle from rolling away while it's being lifted. It is also important to engage your parking brake and to warn other drivers with a reflective safety triangle before changing your car tyre.
If you happen to get a flat tyre while on the highway, try to exit it and park somewhere safe. For your own safety, you should not perform any vehicle maintenance on your own while on the highway. If you're unable to exit, pull over to the road shoulder and call for emergency roadside service immediately.
2. Use Lug Wrench to Loosen the Lug Nuts
(Photo credit: Jason Forster)
Once your car has been parked, it's time to get to work. Retrieve the tools from your car boot and lay them on the ground next to you.
Grab the lug wrench (which should come L-shaped or X-shaped) and loosen the lug nuts (wheel nuts) from the tyre. You should be turning the wrench counter clockwise to loosen the nuts. Put those muscles to use because you might need to use a substantial amount of force to loosen them.
Once all the lug nuts have been loosened, leave them there. You'll only need to remove them in the next step.
3. Lift Your Car with the Car Jack Before Removing Lug Nuts
(Photo credit: Perrys)
Position the car jack underneath the frame near the tyre that you are going to change. There should be a metal frame (see above) or small notch for you to place the jack. If you are unsure on where to place the jack, please refer to your owner's manual.
For added precaution, you should place a wheel wedge or heavy object against the wheels that aren't being raised. For example, if you need to change a tyre from the front of your car, you should block the back wheels of the car. This will help prevent your vehicle from rolling back as it's being lifted.
Once the jack has been secured, simply turn the hand crank and raise your car high enough for you to remove the tyre.
After your car has been lifted, remove the lug nuts and flat tyre completely from the wheel hub.
4. Remove the Flat Tyre and Slap on Your Spare
(Photo credit: Narpro)
Place the flat tyre on the ground like the picture above. You don't want it rolling into traffic. Next, take your spare tyre and fit it onto the wheel hub. Make sure it's position properly and not backwards.
Reattach the lug nuts to the spare tyre and tighten them by hand until you meet firm resistance.
5. Lower Your Car and Finish Tightening the Lug Nuts
(Photo credit: YourMechanic)
Use the car jack to lower your car back down to the ground. Grab the lug wrench and tighten the nuts in a star-shaped pattern (see above) to ensure even tightness and alignment.
Once done, store the flat tyre and tools in the boot of your car.
6. Drive to Your Preferred Workshop to Get the Flat Tyre Replaced
Your spare tyre is not a permanent replacement for your flat. Most spare tyres come with certain limitations, meaning they aren't made to drive long distances or at higher speeds. The maximum distance and speed should be indicated on the side of the spare tyre. As a rule of thumb, you should not drive more than 100km and travel faster than 80km/hour.
Until you get your flat tyre replaced, it's best to drive cautiously on the road.
Instances Where You Should Call for Help
(Photo credit: MegaRichWay)
1. Unsafe Road and Traffic Conditions.
- When you are stuck on the highway or unable to find a safe location to change your car tyre.
2. Heavy Rain
- Heavy rain can affect how quickly you're able to change your tyre. You might lose grip on your tools and injure yourself in the process.
3. Safety of Your Passengers
- If you are travelling with family or friends, it's best to take their safety into consideration before attempting to change your tyre. If their safety is at risk, it's best to call for help. Oh, and it goes without saying, you shouldn't be changing a car tyre with passengers in the car.
4. Your Tools Are in Poor Condition
- Make sure your spare tyre is properly inflated and in good condition. Your car jack should also be rust-free and working properly. If either of these conditions are not met, you better call for a tow truck.
Roadside Assistance Numbers
EMAS Vehicle Recovery Service
1800 2255 582
Nissan Singapore 24-Hour Emergency Assistance
Toyota Singapore 24-Hour Roadside Assistance
Volkswagen 24-Hour Roadside Assistance
Mercedes-Benz Star Assist (24 Hour)
Renault and Volvo 24-Hour Wearnes Assist
Lexus 24/7 Roadside Assistance
Audi Roadside Assistance
Citroen 24-hour On-the-Road Assistance
Honda 24-Hours Roadside Assistance
Mitsubishi 24-Hour On-the-Road Assistance
Chevrolet 24-Hour Roadside Assistance