There is nothing more annoying than a flat tire. It’s not only time consuming, it’s also a cumbersome job to change the tire. The last thing you want is to have to change a flat tire when traveling. It can be worse when you get a flat tire at night and you realize you do not have a spare tire and the service center is miles away. But, bad things do happen to good people and you’re bound to experience a flat tire at some point in your life. The last thing you want to do after a tire bust is to panic. Here’s a guide on how to fix a flat tire and take control of the situation.
1. Put Safety First
Once you realize you have a flat tire, you need to get the car off the road and park in a safe spot. If you’re on the highway, the safest thing you can do is take the first exit and find a gas station parking. When picking a place to pull over, you should consider your visibility and also the weather conditions. Ensure you park on a level ground and place bricks or heavy objects in front of the front wheel and the back wheel.
2. Assess the Situation
Once you have safely parked beside the road or at a gas station, you need to assess the extent of the damage caused to determine whether it is repairable or not. Always remember that a spare tire is always better when compared to tire plugs. Also, you cannot plug a tire puncture that is greater than a quarter inch. You should never attempt to repair the sidewall of a tire. This will mess with the wall’s ability to distribute pressure to support the weight of the vehicle. The best way to inspect the extent of the damage is by removing the tire from the wheel and inspecting the inside part for damage.
3. Removing the Tire
To remove a tire from the vehicle’s wheel, break the lug nuts seal by turning them anticlockwise for about half an inch. You can use a tire wrench to do this. Jack up the car to a few inches off the ground. The jack equipment manual will show you the right place to jack the vehicle from. Remove the lug nuts and pull the tire straight out towards your body. Examine the tire for damage once it is out.
4. Use the Spare Wheel
Always have a functional spare wheel when traveling. If you do not, ensure you have a spare tire in good condition, it will require the services of a road rescue service provider to come and tow your car. The good thing is that road rescue services are reliable and you can easily get a discount car rental to get to your destination. To fix the spare tire on your car, place the tire into the tire hub and align the wheel with the bolts. Put on all the lug nuts and tighten by hand until they are a bit tight. Tighten the nuts with a tire wrench in a clockwise direction. Do not tighten one nut at a time. You tighten all at the same time. This ensures that the tire is balanced.
5. Plug Your Flat Tire
Now you know how to fix a flat tire. Don’t forget to plug your flat tire and keep it in your car as a spare wheel. A plug and patch combination is the safest tire repair. However, it is advisable to take the tire to a tire care center to have it fixed by a professional.