Tire Troubles? 6 Tips to Tackle Flats with Ease
Facing a flat tyre can be a daunting experience, but with a few essential tips, you can handle the situation swiftly and efficiently. In this guide, we’ll explore some crucial advice to help you deal with a flat tyre quickly, especially when you’re on the roads of India. Whether you’re dealing with a full-size spare or a space-saver spare, these tips will come in handy in a time of need.
Space-Saver Spares Require Extra Caution
Space-saver spares can be a lifesaver in an emergency, but it’s important to understand their limitations. These smaller tyres are designed for temporary use and come with a strict speed limit of 50 mph. They should get you to the nearest service station for a tyre repair or replacement but aren’t suitable for extended driving. So, get your flat tyre fixed promptly to ensure road safety.
Don’t Break Your Plastic Wheel Covers
Many cars come with plastic wheel covers, which can be secured using spring clips or screw-on plastic lug nuts. It’s essential to identify which type you have before attempting to change the tyre. For screw-on covers, simply unscrew the plastic nuts using your tyre iron’s socket end. In the case of snap-on covers, avoid breaking them by prying behind one of the larger spokes and twisting until the cover pops off.
Pack a tyre Inflator
Neglecting to check your spare tyre’s air pressure can lead to an under-inflated spare when you need it most. Driving on a severely under-inflated full-size spare is unsafe, while space-saver spares are even riskier. To tackle this issue, keep a plug-in tyre inflator in your vehicle. Start your engine, plug in the unit, and inflate the spare tyre to the recommended pressure before installing it.
Do You Know Where Your Keyed Socket Is?
Some cars have special lug nuts that require a unique “keyed socket” to remove them. To avoid a frustrating situation, always know the location of the key. Keep it in a safe place like the glove box, and ensure that anyone who drives the car is aware of it. Losing the key can result in expensive roadside assistance or towing.
Removing a Stuck Wheel
If your tyres haven’t been rotated regularly, they can become stuck to the hub due to rust. Try this method to loosen them: With the lug nuts partially loosened, grab the spare by the center hole and use it as a battering ram. Swing it horizontally with force to strike the stuck wheel at the 12, 3, and 9 o’clock positions until it breaks free from the hub.
Save Your Back When Loosening Lug Nuts
Attempting to loosen lug nuts once the vehicle is raised can be a futile effort, as the tyre will just spin. To prevent strain on your back, follow this technique: Place the tyre iron on each lug nut with the handle at the 9 o’clock position. Use both hands and exert downward pressure to break the nut loose. If necessary, add a bouncing motion to your weight to assist in loosening the lug nuts.
In conclusion, dealing with a flat tyre doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. These tips will equip you to handle the situation quickly and effectively. Remember that preparation and knowledge are your best allies on the road. Stay safe and be ready for any unexpected tyre mishaps when driving India’s diverse roads.