They say that car troubles always come in the most inconvenient of times. So, what if you were driving to an important business meeting, only to pop a tire and be left in the middle of nowhere? A flat tire can be quite a hassle if you have no idea how to change a tire. How will you save yourself from this situation?
Every automobile owner should know how to change a flat tire. It’s not too difficult of a task if you have the right knowledge and skills. It doesn’t take technical expertise to change a tire and you don’t need to be a mechanic. With a little skill and basic technical know-how, you can certainly rise above your predicament. After jacking up your car, pulling your old tire off, and popping a new one in, you can change your tire and be on your way. Here are the ten steps to changing a flat tire:
1 – Prepare everything you need
Regardless of whether you’re going on a cross-country road trip or popping by the local grocery store, it’s important to always stock up on a few emergency items and keep them in your vehicle. Here’s a list of what you need in case your tire gets busted: emergency warning devices, car manual, car jack, lug wrench, spare tire, tire tools, flashlight, and wheel chocks.
2 – Find a safe place to park
Should the unexpected occur, the first thing that you have to do is find the right place to change your tire. Try not to park on dirt or grass and avoid hills in order to prevent your car from rolling.
3 – Secure your vehicle
Once parked, secure your vehicle by turning off your engine and engaging the emergency or parking brake prior to changing a flat. To keep your car from rolling, place wheel chocks or a heavy rock behind the wheels.
4 – Grab your jack, spare tire, and tools
The next thing you will have to do is check the location of your jack, spare tire, and tire tools. It’s best to consult your owner’s manual if you’ve never previously used them. Also, it is highly recommended that you do a practice run when your tire is not flat so you can get a feel for how to perform the task.
5 – Loosen the lug nuts slightly before you jack up your car
Once you’ve located the essential parts, use the lug wrench to loosen the lugs nuts by turning the wrench counterclockwise. You may use penetrating oil to loosen them. Alternatively, you can use your foot to push down on lug wrench. Loosen the lug nuts only one turn.
6 – Lift up your car
Now, you can go ahead and secure the jack. Once successful, crank your car up to at least six inches or estimate how much is necessary for the removal of the flat tire. Lower your car to reposition the jack if you notice an instability.
7 – Remove the lug nuts and wheel
Use the lug wrench to remove the nuts. Pull the wheel off and set it aside. Make sure that you place the lug nuts in a place where you won’t lose them.
8 – Remove the flat tire
After everything has been said and done, it’s time to remove the flat tire with both hands. Pull the tire towards you and place it under the car. If you have difficulty removing the tire due to rust, hit the rubber with a hammer or use a liquid penetrate to loosen the joints.
9 – Put on your spare
After removing the flat tire, you can now use the spare tire. Do this by placing your spare tire in front of the wheel well, aligning it with the wheel bolts, and then adding your lug nuts. Then, turn the lug nuts clockwise by hand, take your wrench, and turn the bolt tight enough to secure the tire before lowering it to the ground. Make sure that you avoid completely tightening the bolts at this point.
10 – Lower your car
Finally, lower your vehicle to the ground. Remove the jack and block. Then, you can tighten the lug nuts as much as possible, in the proper sequence. There you have it! It’s all done, and you are set to go.
More than anything else, always consult your owner’s manual for instructions and warnings for driving. You should always be on the right track, whether you are changing your tires or driving.