Essentials for an emergency tyre changing kit

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Picture the following scenario:

You just spent the last two nights packing your bags, preparing your travel itinerary and you all set to drive all the way down to the coast. You spoke to your car insurance provider that you will be travelling…now, here’s where the plot thickens…all else is ready but did you remember to double check whether you have your tyre changing kit in the boot of your vehicle? Or whether you even own one?

Being stranded on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere, with no help in sight is not an ideal way in which to begin your holiday, and can also be a dangerous game to play (especially with your family in the car). Be sure to check your tyre changing kit before embarking on your journey in order to ensure a memorable trip and that you arrive in one piece.

Make sure that you have the correct equipment to change a tyre safely and avoid further damage in the event of a blowout or puncture.

  • A fully-inflated, undamaged spare tyre. A damaged spare tyre is worth nothing to someone who has experienced tyre damage. You will need to ensure that your spare tyre is undamaged and fully inflated in order to ensure that it is safe to use. Keep in mind that your vehicle, especially when loaded, can only rely on the spare tyre for a limited distance. It is also important to check that your spare tyre can support your vehicle whilst carrying passengers and a load.
  • A functioning tyre jack. Unless your son is Popeye and you have an unlimited stock of canned spinach, you will need a functioning jack to change your tyre. Without one, you will probably have to wait on the side of the road until help arrives. Be sure to check that the jack is in good condition and that it will support the weight of your vehicle – don’t forget about the weight of the load you are carrying!
  • Wrench.  You cannot remove or replace a tyre without a wrench. However, it cannot be just any tool – you will need to ensure that the wrench is capable of loosening and tightening the specific lug nuts of your wheels. If you struggle to tighten the nuts of the wheel, it might be a good idea to also pack in a pair of leather gloves that will assist you with a stronger grip.
  • A torch. It’s nerve-wracking experiencing tyre damage in the evening. Be sure to pop a torch into your emergency kit to ensure that you are not caught without light. A set or two of spare batteries is also a good idea and, if you have the space, perhaps a LED lantern will ensure that you are able to change a tyre, come sunrise or sunset.
  • Contact details for emergency assistance. Are you a member of a roadside assistance service? Be sure to pack in the contact details of all emergency assistance services that you may be part of. This will ensure that, in worst case scenarios, you are able to make a call to a service provider that can offer assistance in a quick and efficient manner.

If you possess an affordable vehicle insurance cover that provides roadside assistance, be sure to find out if they offer services in the places where you will be travelling to, whether there will be extra costs involved and if they operate after hours.

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