Auto Tips: What do you do with a flat tyre?

Everyone with a car has experienced a flat tyre, if not then that individual hasn’t driven long enough. A flat tyre situation is common in Malaysia, simply because the roads are usually in terrible conditions caused by large vehicles and the usual adverse weather. A lot of motorists often end up having a nail in a tyre which causes deflation, depending on where the nail is on the affected tyre. At times, immediate action has to be taken in order to salvage the affected tyre and not having to replace a new one. That’s an obvious cost effective measure.

A flat tyre isn’t something you’d want to experience, but it might be inevitable especially on Malaysian roads. A car usually comes with basic tools and a spare tyre to fix a flat. It is advisable to ensure that your car has a standard spare tyre and tools to enable you to replace a flat with a spare, before you even have to call a tow truck or any assistance.  The question here is do you call a friend, your parent or do you tap into your roadside assistance and call your car insurance company, or do you fix it yourself? Choosing to fix or change the tyre would probably get the job done faster and cut waiting time.

If you’ve never changed a tyre before, there’s nothing to be worried or embarrassed about. This guide will serve as a guide to changing or fixing a flat tyre in no time. First, make sure you have the required tools (ones that come with the car) and the car’s manual. The tyre repair tools consist of a jack and  a lug wrench. You might want to add some gloves to safeguard your hands and wheel wedges to make changing tyres easier. Finally, make sure your spare tyre is properly inflated. It is advisable to inflate the spare once a month even if you don’t use it.  

Although this guide tells you about fixing or changing a flat, you should know when to change all your tyres due to wear and tear. Normally, front-wheel drive cars have depleted front treads rather rears. Tyre rotation is a common thing most motorists do in this country with proper wheel alignment and balancing. Depending on usage, most motorists change a pair of tyres (usually the fronts) then the rear.  

Simple steps to change a flat tyre

  1. Park your car in a safe area on flat ground. If you’re on a freeway, be sure to use hazard lights and hazard signs or better yet drive to a safe area. For manual-driven cars, make sure the handbrake is up and for automatic, the gear lever is in Park mode.
  2. Now for the hard part: place wheel wedges securely on either side of the tyres that don’t need to be changed so the car does not move, only if necessary. Otherwise, you can dive right into prepping up the spare tyre and finding the perfect point under the car’s frame to lift your car. Make sure you place the jack on the metal portion of the frame of your car.
  3. Before you jack up the car, remove the tyre hubcap then the lug nuts (usually anti clockwise) with the lug nut wrench. Use your foot for more effective strength to remove the nuts. Once the nuts are off, place your jack underneath the jacking point of the car and slowly raise the car. Make sure you lift it high enough to remove your flat tyre and replace it with your spare.
  4. After the spare tyre replacement, be sure to align the wheel with the bolts correctly and push the spare tyre back as deep as possible. Once that’s done, put the lug nuts back on loosely clockwise and lower the jack in a rapid motion.
  5. As soon as the car is lowered completely, remove the jack and use the wrench to tighten the lug nuts, clockwise. Use your foot to stomp on the wrench to make sure the nuts are tight and secure. And that’s it you’ve successfully changed a flat tyre!

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