What To Do If You Get a Puncture

The last thing anyone needs on an essential journey these days is a puncture. Luckily, if that happens, we’ve got a step-by-step guide on what to do.

How To Change A Flat Tire?

If the tyre bursts while you’re driving, keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and slow down gently, making sure to avoid braking harshly. Keep driving slowly and find a safe place to stop. Of course, AA Members can call AA Rescue for help – AA Membership is currently available from just €10 per month.

If you have a spare tyre and plan to change it yourself, make sure you’re in a safe location with adequate lighting first. Try to avoid changing the wheel on the hard shoulder of the motorway or at the side of a busy road. Similarly, don’t try to change the wheel on soft or uneven ground.

If there are passengers in the vehicle, move them outside and to a safe place. You will then need to locate your tools: the jack, the spare tyre, the wheel brace with extension bar if necessary and the wheel-nut adaptor.  It’s also advised to keep gloves in the car, something to kneel on, a torch and a reflective jacket to make sure you can be seen.

When you have located your tools, make sure your engine is off and your hazard lights are on. Apply the handbrake and put the vehicle into first gear. Take out your spare wheel from the boot and lay it on the ground. 

Once this is done, get your wheel brace and loosen the wheel nuts anticlockwise before you lift the car with the jack. Don’t remove them at this point. Some cars come with anti-theft nuts, so you’ll need to start with that one: see your car manual. If you need to, lock the wheel-nut adaptor. See images below. 

Locate the lifting point closest to the wheel you’re changing, place the jack under it, and raise the jack until the wheel is just off the ground. Now remove the loose wheel nuts (leave the top one until last). 

You can then carefully remove the damaged wheel – AA Rescue suggests you place it on its side underneath your car for safety.

Now it’s time to put on the spare wheel and secure it. Loosely refit the top wheel nut first and then tighten the remaining wheel nuts by hand. Then lower the jack slowly until the wheel touches the ground and won’t turn. Get your wheel brace and tighten the wheel nuts fully and put your old wheel in the boot.

Make sure to carefully read all warning labels on your spare wheel – most “space-saver” spare wheels will have a speed limit printed on them that you need to adhere to, and they may only be suitable for short-term use.

If you’ve no spare wheel, or are unable to change it safely, remember AA Roadside Rescue costs just €10 per month, and will cover you 24/7.