Finding oneself with a flat tire, especially in the middle of the highway, is not an easy task … But it is necessary to notice it quickly and to have the right reflex when it happens to us. That’s why learning how to change a tire safely and efficiently is essential for every driver.
MY TIRE HAS JUST PUNCTURED, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Your steering wheel vibrates and pulls more on one side than the other, you feel a loss of handling and braking becomes more complicated? Bingo! You have a flat tire.
THE RIGHT REFLEXES
As soon as possible, stop your vehicle in a safe place. Don’t drive too long with a flat tire to avoid damaging it. On the highway, things get complicated. The first reflex to have is to warn other road users by turning on your hazard warning lights. Then, pull over to the hard shoulder and make sure everyone is behind the safety rail and has put on their yellow vests (including you). Your pre-signal triangle is not an accessory: place it about 50 meters behind your vehicle. Finally, if it is a left wheel that is punctured, it is essential to park as far to the right as possible.
To change your wheel, you will need :
- A spare wheel
- A jack
- Also a cross key
- Failing that, a puncture-proof bomb
Before any operation, apply your parking brake and engage first gear (or shift into P” position for automatic gearboxes). Clip your jack into the notches in the rocker panels and lift your car up (your tire is still touching the ground). After, using your cross wrench, unscrew one by one the lug nuts on your wheel without removing them. Then lift your car as high as possible to release the tire.
To install the spare tire, adjust the height with the jack so that you do not have to lift the vehicle during the operation. The holes in the rim must be placed opposite the studs of your wheel. Screw the bolts in by hand and tighten as much as possible with the cross wrench. Then, put the car back on the ground. If you have any doubt, do not hesitate to go to the next service station to tighten your wheel with an air gun.
THE PUNCTURE-PROOF SPRAY, YOUR BEST ALLY TO HELP YOU OUT
Be careful, the puncture-proof spray does not replace a repair at a garage, but it will help you for a few kilometers. Remove the object that caused the puncture, slightly re-inflate your tire and drive for about 20 kilometers at a moderate pace to distribute the product. Then, check the tire pressure.