How to Change a Flat Tire
Did your car recently get a flat tire? Well don’t fret, changing a flat tire is a lot easier than it may seem; but it’s important that you understand how to do it correctly in order to prevent an accident. Here’s how to change a flat tire.
The first, and most important step, is to make sure that you’re keeping yourself safe. If you get a flat tire, be sure to pull your vehicle far off the side of the road in order to give yourself enough space to safely change your tire. You also want to be sure that you set your parking brake in order to prevent the vehicle from moving once its up on the jack. Lastly, check the spare tire before starting to ensure it is in good shape.
Loosen the Lugs
Now that you’re safe and ready, you will want to loosen the lug nuts before you put the car up on the car jack. The reason you want to do this beforehand is that you will need the weight of the car to keep the tire in place when you’re trying to loosen the lug nuts. They will be hard to loosen at first.
Lift Car with Jack
Most vehicles come with a car jack in the trunk; and commonly this car jack will line up with a small groove underneath your vehicle. This groove, also called a pinch flange, will fit the car jack perfectly and is there to prevent the car jack from slipping as you lift your vehicle. When ready, begin the process of lifting your vehicle.
Remove and Replace Tire
Once the tire is off the ground, remove the nuts the rest of the way off the tire and wheel assembly then place the flat tire lying flat underneath the body of the vehicle. We do this in case the jack were to fail that the vehicle would fall onto the tire and rim assembly versus onto the ground.
Put the spare tire on the vehicle and hand-tighten the lug nuts to secure the tire; but you don’t need to use the lug wrench just yet. Remove the flat tire lying underneath the vehicle and place it where the spare tire was located. Lower your vehicle with the car jack back to the ground where the spare tire is now just touching the ground, and the 90% of the weight of the vehicle is still supported by the car jack.
Tighten Lug Nuts in a Star Pattern
This is important. Tighten the lug nuts the rest of the way using a star pattern. And put some weight into it. You want to make sure your lug nuts are extremely tight so that they do not fall off. Again, tighten in a star pattern so that you’re never tightening adjacent lug nuts one after the other. Lower the vehicle completely using the car jack, remove the jack from the vehicle and stow it in the proper location.
Know When to Call for Help
Yes, road-side assistance can be costly. That said, getting hit by a car is far worse of a fate than a few hundred dollars. If road conditions are nasty or if you don’t feel comfortable changing your tire, then be sure to call upon a professional.
For more information on how to change your tire, or to have your vehicle looked at and your tires replaced following a flat, bring your vehicle into your local Hillmuth Auto Care today.