Changing a flat tyre
It is one of the first skills that every driver should learn because at one time or another, you will get a flat tyre with no one but yourself to rely on. We highly recommend that you practise changing your car’s tyre a couple of times in the safety of your own yard before heading out on the road. Of course, you could call roadside assistance, but if you know how to change your tyre, it can save you some time and money.
If your tyre has a slow puncture, you might not realise immediately that it is running flat. On modern cars, you will have a tyre pressure warning but with older cars you will have to be aware of how the car is driving. If you hear an odd sound and the steering wheel becomes unstable, you probably have a flat tyre. A massive event, like hitting a pothole or experiencing a blow out can cause you to start driving on your rims very quickly and you should pull over as soon as possible.

- Once you realise you have a flat tyre, find a safe, flat spot to stop. Don’t stop in the middle of a bend or an up-/downhill.

- Turn on your hazard lights, pull up the handbrake and leave the car in 1st gear.

- Place your warning triangle at least 45 metres from your car to warn others.

- Remove the spare tyre, jack, screwdriver, spanner, etc. from the boot and place the jack. (Check the owner’s manual for instructions on where to do this if you don’t know.)

- Place wheel wedges (or a big rock or brick if there are some lying around) behind the tyre that will not be lifted when you jack up the car.

- Loosen the wheel nuts – just turn once and don’t take the wheel nuts off just yet (remember anti-clockwise to loosen, clockwise to tighten). The wheel nuts could (and should) be very tight. You could place the wrench on the nut and then stand on the wrench arm with your full weight to get the nut loose.

- Jack up the car to the point where the tyre is free of the surface and would be free if fully inflated.

- Use the wheel spanner and turn anticlockwise to remove the wheel nuts.

- Hold the edge of the tyre as steady as possible and pull straight towards you to remove it.

- Take the spare tyre, align the holes on the spare tyre with the bolts on the car and fit the tyre.

- Screw the wheel nuts by hand onto the bolts, then lightly tighten them using the spanner, don’t tighten them fully just yet.

- Disengage the jack and remove it once the tyre touches the road.

- Now use the spanner to tighten the bolts properly. Start with one, then tighten the one directly opposite it, and so on until they are all tight.

- Not all spares are full tyres, and your newly fitted spare tyre could be narrower than the rest on your car. Be sure to drive carefully and at lower speeds to ensure your safety and that of those driving around you.

- As soon as possible, head on over to a workshop to have the punctured tyre repaired or replaced and also have them check the tightness of the nuts.