One of the most essential skills for all drivers, especially for women, is changing a flat tire. Misfortunes come without warnings and so do flat tires. Hence, you need to be equipped both with knowledge and the right tools.
Things you’ll need:
- vehicle owner’s manual
- spare tire
- wheel wedges
Here are the procedures to follow:
- Do it in a Safe Location – As a general rule of thumb, do not brake or turn when you have a flat tire. Reduce your speed and look for a level stretch of road with a wide shoulder. To properly change your tires, check the owner’s manual and review the steps thoroughly.
- Turn On the Hazard Lights – In doing so, other motorists will see you on the side of the road. To prevent an accident, turn them on as soon as you pull over.
- Apply the Parking Brake – Always use the parking brake when you are about to replace a flat tire as this will reduce the likelihood of your vehicle rolling.
- Don’t Forget the Wheel Wedges – When replacing a rear tire, place the wheel wedges in front of the tires. Meanwhile, if the flat tire is at the front, place them behind the rear. Large stones or bricks are also a great substitute for wheel wedges.
- Remove the Wheel Cover or Hubcap – If the hubcap of your vehicle covers the lug nuts, it would be easier to remove before lifting the vehicle using the jack. Meanwhile, if the lug nuts are exposed, you can skip ahead to the sixth step.
- Lug Nuts: Loosen Them Up – Utilizing the lug wrench, turn the lug nuts counterclockwise. Loosen them around 1/4 to 1/2 of a turn, but don’t eliminate them completely yet. Do that when it’s time to eliminate your tire/wheel from the vehicle.
- Put the Jack Under Your Vehicle – The jack must be properly placed beneath the vehicle frame alongside the flat tire. Follow the manual when doing jack placement.
- Raise Your Vehicle with the Jack – Before raising the vehicle, place a small cut of 2×6″ wood beneath it.
- When the jack is already positioned properly, raise the vehicle until the flat tire is around six inches above the ground.
- Remove the Lug Nuts – After raising the vehicle, unscrew the lug nuts completely.
- Remove the Flat Tire – Slowly pull the tire toward you until it’s free from the hub behind it. Ensure that it is securely set on its side so it doesn’t roll away.
- Mount Your Spare Tire on the Lug Bolts – Place the spare tire on the hub by ensuring that the rim is lined up with the lug bolts. Push it gently and slowly until the lug bolts are visible through the rim.
- Put the Lug Nuts Back – When the lug nuts are placed back on the lug bolts, tighten them all the way. Tighten them using the wrench after lowering the vehicle back to the ground.
- Lower Your Vehicle and Secure the Lug Nuts Again– Using the jack, lower the vehicle so the spare tire is resting on the ground. This is the right time to tighten the lugs.
- Lower Your Vehicle Ultimately – Bring your vehicle completely back to the ground and remove the jack. Ensure that the lug nuts are as tight as possible.
- Have the Hubcap Replaced – Put the hubcap in place.
- Keep all Equipment Used – Keep all the equipment you used inside your tool box.
- Inspect the Pressure in the Spare Tire – Don’t forget to inspect the spare tire’s pressure to ensure it is safe to drive on. If you notice that the tire needs pressure, drive to a service station right away.
These are the steps to change a flat tire. By simply having the right tools and following the step-by-step instructions in this article, you will never be stranded again.