Having a flat tire can be inevitable. We never know when we might accidentally run into something sharp that will take a toll on our car’s wheels. Because this happens often when you least expect it, it’s important that every driver knows how to change a flat tire. This will be beneficial in instances when you have no reach of any automobile service repair shop.
The first step to knowing how to change a tire is having the right equipment in your vehicle. As much as possible, essential tools like a flashlight, gloves, wrench, jack, mobile column vehicle lift, spare tire, and the car’s owner’s manual should always be ready inside your vehicle in case of emergencies. As long as you have this equipment, changing a tire will be a breeze. Here’s a step-by-step guide to changing a flat tire.
Step 1: Pullover
As soon as you realize that you have a flat tire, the safest thing you can do is to pull over. It’s understandable that you want to get to a safe place that’s not busy with other vehicles, or you want to find the nearest repair shop to get your tires fixed. But doing these involves the risk of further damage or accidents. Pullover as soon as possible, turn on your hazard lights, and apply the parking breaks to ensure your safety as you’re changing your tires.
Step 2: Loosen the lug nuts
Some vehicle wheels would have hubcaps covering the lug nuts. If your vehicle has this, you can take it off using the flat end of your wrench. Some cars, however, would need different tools to release the hubcaps. So make sure you have your owner’s manual and the necessary tools for that.
Once you see your lug nuts, use your wrench and turn counterclockwise to loosen them up. At this point, you don’t want to completely remove them yet. Save that until it’s time to remove the entire wheel.
Step 3: Place the jack or vehicle lift and raise the vehicle
Most cars have molded plastic at the bottom where you should be putting the jack. This will help protect your vehicle from scratches or dents. Once you’ve positioned the jack, raise the car until the flat tire is about 6 inches above the ground. This should give you enough room to work on replacing it.
Step 4: Remove the flat tire
Starting with removing the lug nuts you loosened, take out the flat tire completely. Grip the tire securely and gently pull until it’s completely off.
Step 5: Mount the new tire
The next thing you want to do is to grab your spare tire and place it in the exact same position where you removed your flat tire. Push it securely in until the lug bolts show through the rim.
Step 6: Secure the lug nuts
Once you’ve positioned your new tire, secure the lug nuts and tighten them only by hand. When they’re secure, you want to lower your jack until the wheel touches the ground but without putting all the weight of the car on it. Once it’s lowered, tighten the lug nuts using the wrench for maximum security.
Step 7: Lower the car and double-check the wheel
After you’ve tightened the lug nuts, you can begin lowering your car completely. When it’s already carrying the vehicle’s weight, double-check it again to make sure it’s as secure as possible and ready to drive.
You’re all set! As long as you have the right tools and you master how to change your tires, you can finish it in 15 to 30 minutes. Knowing how to change a flat tire will prove beneficial to you and prepare you for any worst-case scenarios.