A flat tire never happens when it's convenient. You'll be all dressed up and on the way to an important event when you run over that errant nail. Changing a tire by the side of the road was a regular event for motorists in the first half of the last century, but with modern tires you may never have had the pleasure of this adventurous experience. Even if you already know how, here's a refresher with some helpful tips to make it less of an ordeal.
Step 1: Be Prepared
Planning ahead will save a lot of frustration. It's not a bad idea to keep an emergency kit in your trunk and disposable, but sturdy Tyvek overalls will help keep your dry cleaning bills down. Throw in some mechanics gloves, a good waterproof flashlight, hand cleaner, and paper towels. Believe it or not, all that, plus wheels chocks, flares, tire gauge and tire sealant all fit into this shallow Rubbermaid bin. The lid can double as something to kneel on. Since flat tires happen year round, you can even fit in a collapsible snow shovel.
Step 3: Not Enough Room
The line separating traffic from you on the shoulder is not an invisible force field. This example is not enough room, the car is leaning and the ramp is going uphill. You will a need level, solid surface to jack up a car safely.
Step 4: Be Aware of Traffic
Turn on your four-way flashers. Using flares or reflective triangles will help give a long range warning that a disabled car is ahead. This is especially important at night or in the rain. Always be aware of on rushing traffic, especially heavy trucks that create a suction in their wake that can pull you off your feet.