What You Need to Know about Changing a Flat Tire

Have You Ever Changed a Flat Tire?

If you are traveling via car, you always need to be prepared for a flat tire. Having a spare tire in trunk is only half the battle. You must have all of the necessary equipment required to actually change your tire if needed. A flat tire can present itself at the most inopportune time, so be prepared.

Are You Prepared?

One of the first things you need to check in advance of a long car trip (and on a routine basis) is your spare tire. Modern cars typically have a donut as opposed to a full spare. Regardless of what you hear, there is nothing inherently unsafe about a donut compared to a full spare. It is really just a convenience issue that goes both ways.

The donut gives you convenience of not taking up a lot of space in your trunk. However, the donut can only be driven for a minimal amount of miles. Typically this distance is only about 50 miles, but you should consult your owners manual to learn how long you can drive before the donut needs to be replaced with a full spare. On the other hand, the full spare will allow you to drive until that tire wears out. So, you don’t have to immediately replace that tire like you have to with a donut.

Regardless of whether you have a donut or full spare, you must make sure that it is properly inflated. It makes no sense to replace a flat tire with a tire that is flat.

The other most important tool needed to change a flat tire is a car jack. The car jack will be needed to jack up your car to change your tire. You should inspect this jack to make sure it works properly. The jack can become rusted in your trunk over the years and will not be in working condition.

The final tools required to change a flat tire are a flashlight and socket wrench. Although not required during the daytime, a flashlight is imperative for flat tire situations that occur during the nighttime. The socket wrench must be able to fit over you lug nuts on your tires, so make sure you have the right size stored in your trunk. With the above advice, you should have all the tools necessary to change a flat tire when you experience one.