Have you ever been stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire? Did you have to rely on the mercy of some kind sole to help you because you did not know how to change a tire? Well changing a tire is not that difficult. Messy – yes, difficult – no.
If you notice the signs that you might have a flat tire you should pull off to the side of the road immediately. If you travel any distance on a flat tire you will ruin it. When pulling off the roadway you should be careful not to cut off any other driver. You also want to get far enough over on the shoulder of the road so you will not be in danger from passing vehicles.
After you have your car safely on the shoulder of the road you should turn on your emergency lights. This will alert drivers to pass with caution. Then you need to retrieve your spare tire and jack from the trunk of your car. If you have a van, truck or SUV where the spare tire is mounted under the vehicle or on the tailgate you will have to remove it from there.
Check the air pressure of the spare tire. Do not attempt to replace your flat tire with a tire that has insufficient air. If this is the case you should call a towing vehicle to take you to the nearest tire store. But if your spare tire is in good shape you can proceed to change out the flat tire.
First you will have to jack up your car. There are a couple of different types of jacks and if you need to know how yours works there are directions in your owner’s manual or sometimes in the area where the jack was found. Be sure that your automobile is on a level surface as you should not attempt to change the tire on a slope. If you have a brick or if there is a heavy rock on the side of the road it would be a good idea to use it to place behind the tire that is not flat to prevent the car from rolling a bit.
Before you want to start to lift the tire off the ground you should loosen the lug nuts on the tire. It will be easier to loosen these with the weight on the tire. When the tire is in the air it will spin as you attempt to loosen the lug nuts. Once you can turn the lug nuts about one turn counterclockwise you can begin to jack up the car. When the tire is completely off the ground remove the lug nuts. Be sure to put the lug nuts in a safe place for later use with the spare tire.
Now you are ready to remove the tire and replace it with the spare tire. Remove the flat tire and place it in the trunk of the car. Place the spare lining up the holes with the bolts on the hub of the wheel. Begin by placing the lug nuts on the bolts and tighten by hand. Tighten as much as possible by hand before beginning to use the tire iron. Be sure that the tire is flat with the wheel. Then jack the car down to the ground and remove the jack and replace it in the trunk. Tighten the lug nuts again with the tire iron. It is best to do this by alternating which nuts you are tightening. For instance, when you tighten one lug nut tighten the one across from it next going around the wheel until all are tight.
Be sure you have all your materials in your car and take your tire in for repair or replacement. Spare tires are not generally designed to be driven for any length of time and if you do not fix or replace the flat tire if you have another flat you will not have a spare to replace it.