Flat tires are not something that happens often, if at all, but when it does you want to make sure you have all the knowledge you need to get yourself back on the road safely. Getting a flat tire happens unexpectedly. You could be driving and run over glass on the highway, hear that flapping noise you never want to hear, and instantly get a flat, or, you may just slowly be losing air and notice there is a hole that is leaking air. It is important to always be prepared for the least expected when driving. The first step to being equipped is to keep all necessary tire change items in your car. The needed tools are spare tire, a jack, a lug wrench, your owner’s manual and a wheel wedge such as a brick.
Now, most of you may be wondering what to do with these items and how to change the tire. There are a few steps that need to be completed to replace the tire correctly.
1.If you think you have a flat tire, turn on your hazard lights and pull over to a safe area such as the shoulder of a highway, parking lot, or side street.
2.Take out all the needed tools stated above to change your tire.
3. Next, make sure your vehicle is stable, in park, and not going to roll away when you begin the tire change. In order to keep the vehicle secure while it is on the jack, place the wheel wedges against the tires that are opposite the flat. A wheel wedge can be a piece of wood or even a brick.
4. If your vehicle has a hub cap or wheel cover that covers the lug nuts, use the flat end of the lug wrench to remove it and pry it off. If your lug nuts are already exposed, you can skip this step.
5. After your lug nuts are exposed, you can now loosen them with the lug wrench turning counter-clockwise but do not fully remove them.
6. Now that the lug nuts are loosened review your owner’s manual to see the proper location to apply the jack and how to work it. Once you see the proper location to apply the jack, move the jack under the car and raise it up to connect with your car’s frame. It should be firmly in place against the underside of the vehicle.
7. Once the jack is in place, crank the jack so the flat tire is approximately 7 inches off the ground and you can pull the tire off with ease. Make sure the jack is stable at all times.
8. Now is the time you can fully take off the lug nuts by turning the wrench counterclockwise. Once you remove the lug nuts, hold them somewhere safe next to you so they do not get lost.
9. Pull the tire with both hands towards you and remove the tire from the hub.
10. You’re almost done! It is now time to put the new tire back on by aligning it with the exposed lug bolts. Once that is complete, push the tire into place. Don’t forget to put the tire on the correct way and not backward! Replace the lug nuts that you had set aside and tighten with your hands.
11. Lower the jack, so your vehicle is now touching the ground again and carefully remove the jack from under your vehicle.
12. Step 10 you had to tighten the lug nuts with your hands, but now that your car is on the ground, you can put your weight into it and tighten the lug nuts with the wrench. Turn the wrench in a clockwise motion until they are applied tightly.
13. If you had a hub cap or wheel cover, you could apply that back on the tire.
14. Put all the tools and the old tire back in your trunk.
15. Lastly, drive slowly to a repair shop. Spare tires should not be used for long distance or high speed. Getting a new tire as soon as possible is important.
Here at International AutoSource, safety is imperative. If you hear anything strange with your vehicle, put your hazards on, pull over and check out the situation. These steps will help you get through a stressful time with ease. Keeping safety in mind, if a flat tire occurs when it is raining, snowing or there are terrible winds it is suggested to call for a tow. Do not put your health or safety at risk.