Sooner or later, it's bound to happen to most everyone. You're driving along with your mind on the important meeting agenda, and suddenly your car pulls to one side and you hear that dreaded flapping sound of a flat tire.
Nowadays, many drivers have roadside assistance services that will come fix your flats, but it's always smart to know how to change a flat yourself. Since it's a fairly common occurrence, car manufacturers have tried to make the tire change process one that virtually anyone can do.
Before Starting Out
It's a good idea to get your car serviced before heading out on a road trip. Part of the checkup should include a look at the tires. Look for any unevenly worn spots, or skimpy tread. If the tires are iffy, invest in new ones. You'll need them eventually anyway, and it's better to start out on a trip with new tires than have a blow-out in the middle of nowhere. Even if you're not heading on a trip, you should familiarize yourself with the tools you'll use in the event of a flat tire. Most cars come equipped with a simple jack and lug wrench, as well as a spare tire. Check your owner's manual if you aren't sure how to access these items. Pull out the jack and the tire, and make sure the tire is in good shape. If your spare is flat, get it fixed. It only takes a few minutes to make sure you have all the tools, and you'll save yourself a big headache later if you find yourself on the side of the road with a flat.
Optional Items to Pack
Besides the crucial jack, wrench, and spare tire, you might also want to consider placing these tools in your trunk to make a tire change much easier and more comfortable:
Follow these simple steps to fix the problem and be on your way in no time:
Once in a while, a tire isn't completely destroyed when it goes flat. If the flat is caused by a nail or other sharp object, and you can't or don't want to change your tire on the side of the road, you may be able to give yourself a few miles of leeway by using a flat-fix type spray.
Simply follow the manufacturer's directions. In ideal situations, the spray foam will allow you to at least find a close off-ramp and pull into a service station or a rest stop before you have to change your tire.
Article from DMV.org - see original article here.
Bryan Harris is the owner of Harris Auto Repair and strives to keep his customers informed and provide the best advice in car maintenance and repair!