5 Ways to Handle a Flat Tire

You are here: Home » MoneyTalk » Additional Topics » 5 Ways to Handle a Flat Tire
car wheel being taken off

Flat tires are a pain to deal with, especially considering how unexpected they are. To make sure you’re less stressed in this sort of situation, here are 5 ways to handle a flat tire when:

  1. The car is parked
  2. You’re driving
  3. You don’t have a spare
  4. You don’t have American Automobile Association (“AAA”)
  5. It’s a blowout

How to Handle a Flat Tire

There are important things to remember when it comes to owning a car, and one of those is making sure you have the necessary equipment in case you have an emergency like a flat tire. Flat tires can happen in many different situations, and it’s important to be prepared.

When the car is parked

Whether your car is parked in your driveway or you come back from an errand to find a flat tire, dealing with a flat tire when your car is already parked is a lot less stressful than when you’re driving.

  • The first thing to do is inspect the tire. Run your hands along the back and front of the tire to find any foreign objects like nails or staples. If there is no object, you could just be low on air.
  • If you find a puncture or hole, put on the spare tire and drive to a secure service center for repairs or patching. Driving on a spare for too long can damage the tire casing and integrity.

When you’re driving

If you don’t hear the flapping from your tire, you’ll feel it. It will feel like your vehicle is being pulled to the side where the tire is flat, and it’ll feel like you can’t accelerate.

  • First, you’ll want to pull over. Get as far to the edge – hopefully a shoulder – as you can. You want to give a lot of space between you and passing cars.
  • Most importantly, don’t drive on it. Put on the spare and drive to the nearest service center to have it checked out. It’s important to always have your spare handy.

Without a spare

In more recent years, some manufacturers have not been including a spare when you buy your car. It’s been a slow change, but if you notice it, you should go out and buy one. If you haven’t, you’ll want to be prepared in other ways.

  • Be prepared and have a tire repair kit ready for use. They usually come with tools like a sealant and air compressor, but these are only temporary solutions. You’ll want to head to a service center as soon as possible.
  • A reliable roadside assistance program can also help you out. Companies like AAA will send out assistance when you call them. So, as long as you have a cell phone, you can contact help.

When you don’t have AAA

If you don’t have AAA, there are many other ways to receive roadside assistance. Check with your insurance provider. They may offer you roadside assistance as part of your insurance plan, or you can add it on for a small additional fee. They will provide you with help when you have a flat tire and with emergency towing.

Even if you don’t have the plan with your insurance provider, you can always use your phone to call a local towing company. It might be a little pricey, but it’s one of the only solutions if you don’t have your spare tire or a roadside assistance program.

When it’s a blowout

Tire blowouts can be a scary and stressful situation. You’ll know when you have a tire blowout by three key sounds:

  1. Loud bang/boom
  2. Whooshing sound
  3. Flapping/flopping

You will also feel your vehicle slow down and pull strongly to one side. If it’s one of the front tires, you’ll feel the vibrating in the wheel and if it’s one of the back tires, you’ll feel it in the seats.

  • Keep a firm grip on the wheel and do not slam on your brakes.
  • Let your car slow down and pull safely to the side at a slow speed.
  • Activate your flashers and change your tire or call roadside assistance.

How to Change a Flat Tire

  1. Remove wheel cover – To remove the wheel cover, you can use a flathead.
  2. Loosen lug nuts slightly – You want to loosen them, but not take them off completely.
  3. Jack up vehicle – If you have a hydraulic jack, you’ll insert the handle and pump it up and down. For a scissor jack, take the wrench or rod, insert, and crank.
  4. Remove the flat tire – Take off the lug nuts by hand and pull the tire off toward you. To get it out of the way, roll it towards the back of your vehicle to keep away from cars passing by.
  5. Place the spare on – Lift the spare into place on the lug bolts and secure the lug nuts into place.
  6. Lower your vehicle – Turn the jack the opposite way to bring it back down. Tighten the lug nuts as much as possible.

Put wheel cover back on – Use your hands to place the wheel cover back on to avoid dents from a hammer or other tool.

Trusted lender of over 250,000 customers2

Trusted by over 250,000 customers since 2002, we know how to do business the right way. Our US based customer service team is there for you seven days a week.

LoanMart © 2020 All Rights Reserved. Version: NMLS ID 1442517
Go To topApple Store Logogoogle play logo button


Applications submitted on this website may be originated by one of several lenders. All loans will be serviced by LoanMart. See State Disclosures for additional information.

1Loan approval is subject to meeting the lenders credit criteria, which may include providing acceptable property as collateral. Actual loan amount, term, and Annual Percentage Rate of the loan that a consumer qualifies for may vary by consumer. Loan proceeds are intended primarily for personal, family and household purposes. Minimum loan amounts vary by state. Consumers need to demonstrate ability to repay the loan.

2Based on consumers who received a loan from LoanMart from February 2002 to October 2018.

3Application processes could take five (5) minutes to complete. Upon completion, a conditional approval may be given pending review of documentation. Funding time is based on the time from final approval following receipt and review of all required documents and signing, prior to 2PM PST on a business day.

4To exercise the right to rescind, the consumer(s) must notify the lender in writing by midnight on the third calendar day from obtaining the loan. Within one business day from notice of rescission, the consumer(s) must return any monies received and fees paid on behalf of the consumer(s) by certified funds.

5Lenders recommend and encourage consumers to pay early and often and more in order to avoid additional finance charges.

If you are using a screen reader and are having problems using this website, please call 1-855-422-7412 for assistance.


Loans for certain California residents, and residents of Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington residents are made by Capital Community Bank, a Utah chartered bank located in Provo, UT, Member FDIC. Loans made by Capital Community Bank will be governed by Utah law and serviced by LoanMart.

†All loan applications are subject to meeting Capital Community Bank’s credit criteria, which include providing acceptable property as collateral. Consumers need to demonstrate ability to repay the loan.

To learn about vehicle secured loans made by Capital Community Bank or to submit an application, please click here or visit http://choicecash.com.