Getting a flat tire while you’re on the road is frustrating. It can become increasingly frustrating and stressful when you don’t know the first thing about changing the tire.
Keep a copy of these 10 easy steps close by. It is possible that you may never find yourself in a situation where you never have to use them, and that’s great! In the unfortunate case something decides to drain the air from your soon-to-be lifeless tire, these will definitely come in handy.
Just a general note, it’s a good idea to locate the spare tire and jack that comes with your car before you drive it. You’d be surprised how hard it can be to find them, since some vehicles (especially newer models) go to great lengths to conceal these extra parts for a variety of reasons, including cosmetics. Sometimes they only include flimsy tire inflator kits. If that’s the case, consider a provider like Buy Auto Parts in order to customize a kit.
1. Pull Over Safely
When you feel that you have a flat or punctured tire while you’re on the road, pull over safely.
Turn on your hazard lights, put your car in park, and turn it off.
2. Locate your Tools
Locate your spare tire, jack, and lug tool. If you don’t already know where they are, try lifting up the “floor” of your trunk. That is the most common place manufacturers keep them.
3. Loosen the Bolts
Use your lug tool to loosen the bolts on your tire by one or two twists only. Don’t fully loosen them or remove them at this time. Loosening them only slightly will help make sure the bolts don’t come off before the car is raised off the ground.
4. Jack it Up!
Put the jack under the steel frame of the car, closest to the tire you are changing. Crank it up by turning the jack clockwise. You will know when the car is far enough off the ground when it is about one inch off the ground.
5. Remove the Bolts
Now that the tire is raised and the car is supported by the jack, use the lug tool to completely take off the bolts. Keep the bolts in a safe place so you don’t misplace them. If the bolts are too tight, you may need to intervene with the lug tool by stepping on it to add some extra strength or give to the tool.
Pull the old tire off the car.
6. Replace the Tire
Replace the tire with the spare tire. Put the bolts back on the spare tire, and tighten them as far as you can go without exceeding pressure. You want to make sure the car is back on the ground before tightening the bolts completely.
7. Lower the Vehicle
Twist the jack counterclockwise to lower the car back to ground level.
8. Tighten the Bolts
Give an extra twist counterclockwise to the bolts to tighten them.
9. Reload your Tool Kit
Put your tools back into your kit, and your flat or damaged tire into the trunk.
10. Be on your Way!
Hit the road again! Please be aware that your spare tire is not a permanent replacement. Take caution while driving, and either refill with air or change it out for a proper tire as soon as possible.
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