Thump… thump… thump… thump… THUMP… THUMP… HSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSssssssssssssssss” (*often followed by an impressively broad range of expletives*).

Yep, we admit it (says this writer, groaning as harrowing memories from his past come back to haunt him) – few things give us more grief than a flat tyre, especially when we’re in one heck of a hurry to get somewhere!

Here’s the irony though… despite the occasional flat tyre being part and parcel of driving on New Zealand roads, it’s amazing how many otherwise proficient drivers don’t know how to change a tyre!

If you’re one of them, ‘think’ Girl Guides Motto…

Be Prepared

At the absolute minimum, make sure your car is prepared with the following:

  • A full-size, fully inflated spare tyrelug-wrench-180
  • A suitable car-jack
  • A lug wrench
  • A tyre gauge

Put On Your Hazard Lights

Such a simple precaution to take, yet a ‘frightening’ number of motorists forget to do it… and occasionally, an oversight like this can end in tragedy.

Follow These 7 Easy Steps

  1. Pull off the road safely; turn off the engine, put on your handbrakes and the hazard lights if you’re still in proximity to the traffic flow.
  2. Take your jack, lug wrench, spare tyre and owner’s manual over to the flat tyre. Remove the hub cap (use the flat blade on the opposite end of the lug wrench to pry off the cap).
  3. Before jacking up the car, loosen the lug nuts by turning the wrench counter-clockwise. Unscrew the nuts until they are each loose enough to unscrew by hand. But don’t unscrew them
  4. Place your jack under the car (after consulting your owner’s manual for ‘jack placement advice’) and raise the car high enough to give yourself room to remove the flat tyre.
  5. Finish unscrewing and removing the lug nuts.
  6. Remove your flat tyre and replace it with the spare one. Put your lug nuts back on and commence screwing them clockwise, turning each one a little bit at a time to make sure they’re going on evenly. Once they’re reasonably tight, lower the car to the ground.
  7. Once the car is on the ground again, it’s time to raise a sweat by tightening those lug nuts as much as you can.

Ok, now that you know how to change a tyre, the next time you hear the unmistakable sound of ‘spinning rubber disintegrating beneath your feet’… you can smile in the knowledge that you won’t have to sit in your car (or stand next to it) waiting for hours for some kind person to come to your rescue… you’ll be fully prepared and equipped to change the tyre yourself.

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