Changing a flat tire is one of the basic skills that every driver should know. If you don’t know how to change a flat tire, you have to depend on help from others or more expensive solutions, which might not be easily available when you are away from home. Here we have discussed the steps involved in changing a flat tire.
Things You Will Need
- Vehicle Owner’s manual
- Lug wrench
- Fully inflated spare tire
These things come with the car. You might also need a few things like
- Wheel wedges
- Small piece of wood measuring 2”x6” to stabilize the jack
Park Your Car at a Safe Location
As soon as you realize your car has a flat tire, look for a safe location to park the car. Be sure to look for level ground. If you are practicing at home, you can park the car in an empty parking lot. If you are changing the flat tire on a highway, look for a straight stretch of road where other drivers can see your car clearly from far away.
Apply Your Parking Brake
Always use the parking brake when changing a flat tire. This is a safety measure that will prevent the car from rolling out of your control.
Turn on the Hazard Lights
Turn the hazard lights on immediately. This will ensure that drivers can see your car clearly on the side of the road. This also lets other drivers know that you are dealing with an unusual situation and reminds them to be more aware.
Apply the Wheel Wedges
Wheel wedges are placed in the front of or behind the tires. This is an additional precaution to ensure the vehicle does not roll while you are changing your flat tire.
Remove the Wheel Cover
To access the lug nuts, you need to remove the wheel cover. If the lug nuts are exposed you can go right to the next step
Loosen the Lug Nuts
Take the lug wrench and turn the lug nuts counterclockwise until you feel the resistance has gone completely. You might have to use your bodyweight or force to loosen the lug nuts. You just need to loosen the lug nuts don’t remove them completely
Place the Jack Under the Vehicle
You need to place the jack under the body frame alongside the flat tire. You can find the instructions in the car owner’s manual
Raise the Vehicle with the Jack
To prevent the jack from coming off the balance, place a piece of wood beneath the jack before raising the vehicle with the jack. Raise the vehicle until it is 6 inches above the ground.
Remove the Lug Nuts
Unscrew the lug nuts and remove them completely.
Swap the Flat Tire
Remove the flat tire and mount an inflated spare tire in its place. Plug back the lug nuts and tighten them by hand
Lower the Vehicle
Lower the vehicle and tighten the lug nuts by using the lug wrench. Remove the jack and keep it in the trunk.
It is a good idea to practice changing a tire in your garage or driveway. This will give you time to perfect the skill in a low-stress environment. This is key because you never know when you will need to change a tire. This will prepare you to handle the situation confidently whenever you face the problem in real life, potentially far away from home.