Learning how to drive a vehicle is the prerequisite to operating a motor vehicle. However, there are several other things related to your vehicle which one must know. And, one of the commonest problems you might face is suffering a flat tire. Trust me, if you can survive your first flat tire, you will definitely be proud of yourself!!
Relying on a mobile mechanic can be your savior, however it is always better to learn it yourself.
NOTE: Some cars have locking wheel bolts. If yours does, check your glove box for a special key. If you don’t have this key, and have a lock — you will not be able to remove your wheel.
1. Once you’ve determined you have a flat or a puncture, turn on your hazard lights and pull off the road to a safe location. Ideally, you want to park on a hard, level surface that is visible to other drivers.
2. Open your trunk and remove the jack, lug wrench, and wrench. Some vehicles may even have a flashlight, road marker, and road flare. You may not need these (but good to have).
3. Engage your emergency brake so the vehicle doesn’t roll while your removing the tire. If you have a cap covering the bolts, remove the cap to reveal the bolts. Using the lug wrench, loosen the bolts holding the tire to your brake. It is NOT safe to loosen the bolts while the vehicle is suspended. Only loosen the bolts, do not remove them at this time.
4. After the bolts are loosened, place your jack underneath the vehicle. Most cars will have a slot in the frame where the jack will connect. If not, consult your owners manual for proper placement. After placing the jack, begin raising the jack using the wrench. You’ll want to raise the wheel about 2-3″ above the ground.
NOTE: Never raise a vehicle with people inside.
5. Remove the wrench from the jack, and begin removing the bolts. Remove the wheel and place it under your car (in the event that your jack fails, your car will not fall on to an unprotected wheel hub).
6. At this time, place your spare onto your wheel hub and replace the bolts. You’ll want to twist them on until you feel them ‘bite’.
7. Remove the tire from under the vehicle, and using the wrench, lower the jack fully. Now you can use the wrench to fully tighten the bolts onto the spare tire.
8. Place the flat tire, wrench, and jack into your trunk and drive to the nearest auto repair facility to fix your tire.