How would you go if you got a flat tyre on the road?

Observer reporter Sarah Barnham gets down and dirty learning how to change a tyre.
Observer reporter Sarah Barnham gets down and dirty learning how to change a tyre. Declan Cooley

DO YOU know how to change a tyre on your car?

Do you know where the spare tyre is kept?

If you answer yes to either of these questions, you're a lot better informed than many Australian motorists.

The Observer found that one of its staff members, P-plater reporter Sarah Barnham was one of those who had no idea how to change a tyre, so we took her through the steps, and now she will be more confident when she finds herself in that difficult situation, stranded on the road with a flat.

We recorded the training session so that those who aren't sure about changing a tyre can also take note of the steps required. See the video online at

A survey commissioned by JAX Tyres has shown that 37% of Australians wouldn't know where to start to change a tyre.

And 18% of 18 to 25-year-olds don't know where the spare is kept.

However, Kieran Sweeney, JAX Tyres Gladstone manager, said he was surprised that the number of people who didn't know how to change a tyre was that low.

"I would have put it at more like 45% or more," he said.

"And the amazing thing is that there are more blokes than girls who don't seem to know."

The survey unearthed other statistics, including the fact that 28% of Australians don't know how to check the oil level in the car, and 21% don't know how to top up their car's radiator - 44% of 18 to 25-year-olds.

And, 13% didn't know where to fill up their windscreen washers.

JAX Tyres CEO Jeff Board said it was surprising people were losing the ability to perform the basics of car service.

"There was a time when Australians prided themselves of having some basic car mechanic skills, but it appears that is no longer the case, partcularly amont the next generation of drivers," he said.

"Learning how to do the basics - like checking the oil in your car and tyre pressures - will ensure there are less problems down the track when you need to get your car serviced.

"Maintaining the proper tyre pressure not only extends the life of your tyres, it also reduces fuel consumption."

Basic checks

All seatbelts are working

The tread on your tyres is sufficient

The oil level in you engine is correct

The water level in the cooling system is correct

The windscreen wipers have enough liquid

The pressure of the tyres are correct

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