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Changing a tire looks like a pretty simple task. Most people assume they know how to do it, until they’re put in a situation where they need to! This simple guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to change a tire quickly and efficiently if ever you find yourself in a pinch.
When it’s your First time changing a tire
Ensure You Have All The Necessary Equipment
While you may have checked to make sure your car has a spare tire, that isn’t enough to change a flat. You’ll also need to make sure that you have a car jack that fits your car, extra lug nuts, a tire gauge, and a wrench. It’s also a good idea to keep a flashlight with spare batteries, a blanket or towel to kneel on, and emergency flares to keep you safe if you need to change a tire in a busy area. These items should stay in your vehicle at all times.
Choose A Safe Place
Sometimes this means driving your car on a flat just a bit in order to avoid changing it in a dangerous location. Try to move your vehicle to the nearest low traffic area, and never attempt to change your tire on a hill or a slope. When you exit your vehicle be sure to utilize your emergency brake to ensure your car won’t begin rolling as you lift it.
Lifting Your Vehicle
The first step to changing a tire is lifting the vehicle so that you can access it. There are several different models of jacks, and some require a little knowledge just to remove the jack from your vehicle, let alone lift it. Be sure that you are familiar with your car’s jack, and know how to remove it from the vehicle and properly lift your vehicle. Your hazard lights should ALWAYS be on before you begin the task.
Removing Lug Nuts and Tire
Once you have your car jacked up, you’ll need to remove the lug nuts. This make take a little elbow grease. Be sure the wrench is placed properly on the lug nut before applying pressure to avoid stripping the lug nut. Once you’ve removed all of the lug nuts, be sure to place them in a neat pile so you don’t lose any. Next, pull your tire straight towards you to remove it from the vehicle.
Place Spare and Lug Nuts Back On Vehicle
Once you’ve removed your tire, replace it with the spare. Place the lug nuts back in their respective locations, but don’t tighten them just yet.
Lower the Vehicle
Carefully lower your vehicle back to the ground with your jack, and remove the jack. You can now begin tightening the lug nuts. Don’t tighten them one by one. Instead, tighten a lug nut halfway, then do the same with the lug nut directly across from it on the opposite side of the tire. Once all lug nuts are tightened halfway, go back and tighten them the remainder of the way in the same order.
The most important thing is to be cautious and safe. If at any point you find yourself in over your head, or in an area that isn’t safe, don’t hesitate to call for help.