You never know when you might be faced with having to change a flat tire. Though it may be easier to just call for help, changing your own tire can be a lot faster than waiting for a tow truck, if you know what you are doing. Here is a simple guide that takes you […]
You never know when you might be faced with having to change a flat tire. Though it may be easier to just call for help, changing your own tire can be a lot faster than waiting for a tow truck, if you know what you are doing. Here is a simple guide that takes you through all the necessary steps to change a flat tire.
Find a safe place to pull over.
As in any situation, safety first. Once you realize that your tire is flat, slow down and scan the area for a safe place to pull over. Avoid narrow shoulders as you are going to need enough room to pull completely over. You don’t want to create additional hazard by putting yourself in the way of busy traffic. Look for a large parking lot, a side road or if you are on the highway, look for a wide shoulder. While this may damage your rim, it is better to replace a rim than get hit by another vehicle.
Turn on your hazard lights on
Once you have found a safe spot to pull over, put on your hazard lights so that you are more visible to other drivers. This is especially important in the evening when you may be less noticeable on the road.
Make sure your emergency brake is on.
When you have parked your vehicle, be sure to put on your emergency brake. This will help minimize your vehicle rolling while you are changing your tire. If you have wheel wedges or something to put behind the front or back wheels (depending on which tires you are changing) you could use those as well for additional safety.
Loosen the lug nuts
If you have hub caps on your wheels, you will need to remove them before lifting your vehicle with the jack. To remove the hubcap, follow the owner’s manual. However, most hubcaps can be removed with the flat end of your lug wrench.
If your car’s lug nuts are exposed (or once your hubcap is removed, exposing your lug nuts), use your lug wrench to loosen the nuts. Turn the nuts counter-clockwise until they are loose. Be sure not remove the lug nuts just yet.
Position the jack
Place the jack under the vehicle frame on the side with the flat tire. Often there is a flat piece of exposed metal that is specifically designed for the jack. Refer to the owner’s manual for specific jack placement.
Once the jack is placed, raise your vehicle until the tire is about 10-12 cm above the ground.
Be sure to never put any part of your body under the vehicle once it is raised.
Remove the flat tire
Once the vehicle is raised and the tire is off the ground, remove the lug nuts and remove the flat tire by pulling it towards you.
Install spare tire
Mount the spare tire by aligning the lug bolts with the tire rim holes. Push the tire in place and put the lug nuts back on by hand. Once the lug nuts are on, lower the vehicle without placing all the vehicle’s weight on the ground and tighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench as tight as you can using all of your weight. Lower the vehicle completely to the ground and remove the jack. Tighten the lug nuts one final time to ensure they are secure.
Replace the hubcap, if necessary and return all of the equipment back to your vehicle. Now you are finished and you can resume your travels. Just be sure not to drive too fast as the spare tire is only a temporary solution and isn’t made to endure long distances and high speeds. Be sure to visit your local repair shop as soon as possible to have them look at your tire and have it repaired or replaced. If you need assistance with your tires, Gerry’s OK Tire is always here to help.