So you are out on a highway in the middle of nowhere and you realise that you have a punctured tyre. What do you do?
Your first instinct would probably be to look for a tyre repair shop close by but you then realise those are quite rare in the 'middle of nowhere'. A call to the roadside assistance service may help but you know that they will take ages to get to where you are.
But there's nothing to fear because you can easily replace your punctured tyre with a spare in a few simple steps, provided your spare tyre is in good condition.
Here are some of the guidelines you need to follow when you have a tyre puncture:
1. Pull over
Right at the outset, you need to slow down and eventually bring the car to a complete stop on the side of the road when you realise that you have a puncture. Make sure that you pull off the road completely so as to not disturb the traffic flow. Do not drive with a flat tyre as it may cause harm to the mechanicals and also the wheel. Switch on the hazard/emergency lights so that the other cars know that your vehicle has a problem.
2. Know your jacking points
Jacking points are essentially where the car jack fits under the vehicle and this enables it to lift the car in order to change the tyre. The jacking points have been given extra strength so that it is easier for you to raise the car. If you are wondering where they are, look into your owner's manual to find out.
3. Loosen the bolts
Before you actually use the jack to lift the car, it is important that you loosen the bolts of the punctured tyre first. Make sure that you loosen each bolt in diagonal fashion.
4. Lift the car
Now you have to place the jack in the given jacking position and use it to lift the car. Do this very slowly and make sure there is no one sitting in the car. Any extra weight might just make the jack lose its grip.
5. Replace the tyre
Once you have loosened and removed all the bolts, detach the punctured tyre and replace it with the spare. Again, while getting the tyre back on, tighten the bolts diagonally. The logic behind this is that the tyre has no chance of falling off while it is being fastened. Once the tyre is replaced, you can take the car off the jack and then make sure that the tyre has been tightly bolted in place.
6. Get the puncture repaired
So now you are set and can get back on the road. But make sure that you get the punctured tyre repaired, the first chance you get. A spare tyre is no problem but at the end of the day, there is a reason why it is called a 'spare' - it's not meant to be used over long distances or for too long a time period.