A flat tire can happen to anyone, but not everyone is prepared for it. Knowing how to change a tire will make you a more confident and self-sufficient driver, so follow these easy steps to learn how.
Secure Your Vehicle
Ideally, you want a solid, level surface that will prevent your car from rolling while you change the tire. Park away from traffic with your emergency lights flashing, and if possible, use bricks, rocks, or wooden wedges to block the wheels at the opposite end of the car from the end that you will be raising with a jack.
Jack It Up
Take out your jack and spare tire. Insert the jack under the frame of your car near the flat tire, making sure the jack is in contact with the metal. Modern cars often have a small notch behind the front wheels. If not, and you’re still not sure where to place it, check your owner’s manual. Raise until the jack is supporting, not lifting, your car.
Remove the Hubcap and Loosen the Lug Nuts
The hubcap should be easily pried off with a screwdriver. Using a standard cross wrench, make the lug nuts looser by turning counterclockwise. Don’t take them all the way off yet. When the nuts are loosened, pump or crank the jack to lift the tire off the ground. Remove the nuts the rest of the way by hand.
Change the Flat Tire
Pull the flat tire toward you with both hands and place it out of the way or underneath the vehicle, where it can help in case of a jack failure. Lift the spare tire onto the lug bolts, and then replace the lug nuts. Tighten by hand first and then give each a firm twist with the wrench. After you lower the jack and the vehicle is on the ground, use the wrench to fully secure the nuts, tightening as much as possible.
Replace Hubcap and Equipment
Protect your hand with a rag and replace the hubcap by hitting it with the heel of your hand. Avoid using a wrench, which can dent the metal. With your spare tire securely in place, return your jack and tools to your trunk along with the flat tire, and drive to a mechanic for repair or replacement. Preparation is key to being a safe driver. Periodically check your spare tire to make sure it has enough air in it, and with the help of this easy guide, you’re ready to tackle changing a flat tire.
Chris loves to work on gagdets from electronics to mechanical things like motorcyles and cars. He started building things in grade school with RC planes and rockets, and now is an engineer at energy company. His hobbies include writing and cars, he also writes for the site www.hertzcarsales.com
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