How to Change a Flat Tyre Safely on the Side of a Road

Published on 15 August 2023

Stuck at the side of the road after experiencing a puncture? Dealing with a flat tyre can be challenging for any driver, especially for first timers. If you are depending on a knight on a white horse to come to your rescue you could be waiting awhile! As a car owner, it’s important that you know how to change a tyre correctly. If you need reminding about the steps involved in changing a tyre, take a look at our list below to jog your memory.

What equipment do I need to change a flat tyre?

Firstly, you need to have the necessary equipment so stock your boot with the following essentials:
1. Inflated spare tyre
2. A car jack
3. A wheel wrench
4. A warning triangle
5. A torch
6. A first aid kit
7. A warm blanket
8. A Hi-Vis jacket
9. A wheel nut key – if locking nuts are fitted
10. Gloves
11. Flat piece of wood – to steady the car jack if the ground is uneven
12. Tyre pressure gauge – to check if spare tyre is properly inflated

Changing your flat tyre in 10 easy steps

Firstly, reduce your speed and pull over to a safe location. Then:

1. Ensure you are parked safely

If you suspect that you have a flat tyre, gradually reduce your speed and pull over to a safe location where the ground is level.

2. Get prepared

Ensure your handbrake is on and ask all passengers to vacate the vehicle. Put on your hazard lights and apply wheel wedges to prevent the car from rolling. (If you have children with you, it’s advisable to remain in the car and call for assistance, as it would not be safe to have them on the roadside while you are occupied with changing the tyre). If you’re a Liberty Insurance customer, your policy may entitle you to avail of our Breakdown Assist option- for more information, please review your policy booklet. Phone 01 553 4040 to get the help you need.

3. Loosen the wheel nuts

Turn the wheel wrench anti-clockwise and loosen the nuts to the point where they can be turned by hand, but don’t remove them fully yet. If necessary, you can use your foot on the wheel brace and your body weight will help loosen the tighter wheel nuts.

4. Jack the car up

Position the jack at the dedicated jacking point under the frame of the car. Place a flat piece of wood under the jack to keep it steady. Raise the car up until the flat tyre is off the ground.

5. Remove the flat tyre

While the car is raised, remove the wheel nuts completely and gently take off the tyre and place it on its side.

6. Mount the spare tyre
Lift the tyre onto the hub making sure to align it correctly. Tighten the wheel nuts by hand.

7. Lower the car
Slowly lower the car and tighten the wheel nuts completely now with the wrench.

8. Check tyre pressure
If possible, use a tyre pressure gauge to check the spare wheel is fully inflated.

9. Drive carefully
If your spare tyre is a ‘space-saver’, avoid driving at high speed (max 80 km/h) and replace it as soon as possible. Space-savers are suitable for only one or two journeys, not for the long term.

10. Take your flat tyre to a mechanic
Don’t forget to take your flat tyre to a professional to get it repaired or replaced immediately.

Armed with this information, you now know the steps to take to get you back on the road. Take a screenshot of or bookmark this list and you won’t be scratching your head at the side of the road.

Always be prepared for whatever life throws at you with Liberty Insurance. We don’t just offer you affordable car insurance, we also ensure that you get great cover along with many additional benefits as part of your motor insurance. Call us now on 1890 944 412 or find a quote online. Subject to terms and conditions of the policy.