Whether you are a new driver or old, knowing how to change a tire is crucial. If you keep relying on other people to help you out, you are likely to run into a bad situation sooner or later. Besides, it is an important life skill that can end up helping you out of a tight spot.
So let’s make it as simple for you as possible. Here’s a step-by-step guide to changing a flat tire.
1. Checking for a Flat Tire
First things first; you need to figure out whether you have a flat tire or if it only needs a bit of a re-inflation. To confirm if it is flat, you must pay attention to the part of the tire that’s touching the ground. If it looks like it’s not able to keep its round shape, it’s a sure sign that it has a puncture and needs replacement.
While driving, a flat tire can cause a misbalance towards one side. As soon as you notice your car wobbling, lower your speed and stop at the nearest safe corner of the road.
2. Find the Equipment You Need
To change a flat tire, you will need the following equipment. Make sure you have all three things handy in your trunk every time you leave the house, especially on longer trips.
- Spare Tire
- Vehicle Owner’s Manual
Other than these, it makes sense to keep the following items in your trunk although they aren’t a necessity.
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3. Hazard Lights and Wedges
Turn on the hazard lights so other drivers can tell your car is out of order. Before beginning, also remember to apply the parking brake and wedge the wheels so your car doesn’t roll.
4. Remove Wheel Cover and Loosen the Lug Nuts
Next, you have to remove the wheel cover and loosen the lug nuts using a wrench. They may be hard to turn, in which case you shouldn’t be scared to use as much force as necessary. Use your leg to propel all your body weight.
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5. Use the Jack to Lift the Car
Once the lug nuts are loosened, it is time to lift the car using a jack. Align the jack with the vehicle frame alongside the tire you’re changing. Once it’s set, follow the instructions on the manual and remove the flat tire.
6. Fix the Spare Tire in Its Place
Get your spare tire and replace the flat tire with the new one. Use the lug nuts to loosely fix it in place.
7. Lower and Remove the Jack
Now that your new tire has been set in its place, you can start lowering the jack and bringing the car back to the road. Once you’re done with that, the difficult part is over!
8. Tighten the Lug Nuts
This step is especially important since doing it incorrectly could cause severe accidents. Use the wrench to tighten the lug nuts properly. Use all the force you can muster to tighten them so they don’t detach from the car while driving. You might want to double-check the lug nuts for tightness after you drive a few miles on the replacement tire and wheel.
If you have followed all these steps right, you will find yourself ready to drive off. Now all you need to do is remember to get the spare tire fixed!