One of the most rudimentary skills of driving is knowing how to do basic maintenance on your vehicle. Unfortunately, changing a tire is one of the skills that are no longer regularly taught.
Since everyone will eventually have to deal with an unexpected flat tire, it’s best to be prepared. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you out.
Get the Right Tools For the Job
Before we get into actually changing the tire, let’s start with the tools you’ll need. There are a few things you should keep handy in your trunk, like:
- A spare tire
- A jack
- A four-way or lug wrench
- Lugnut key if applicable
Most vehicles will come with this equipment when you purchase your vehicle. However, it’s better to make sure they’re there and know where they are. Your vehicle’s manual can tell you where to locate them.
You’ll also need something to place behind your tire to keep your car from rolling while you’re changing it. Before getting out of your vehicle, you should also turn on your hazard lights to alert other motorists. You may also want to consider a reflective warning sign to help other drivers see you.
Placing the Jack
You’ll want to place your jack on the metal underneath your vehicle near the damaged tire. You’ll want to raise it just slightly at first, but not enough for the tire to lose contact with the ground. This is to keep the studs from breaking under pressure.
Then, you’ll want to loosen the lug nuts, which may require a bit of strength. After you’ve loosened the lug nuts, you’ll raise the jack enough for the tire to be off of the ground.
Removing the Tire
Once you’ve raised the car, finish removing the lug nuts. Be sure to keep these in a location where they won’t get lost.
After removing the lug nuts, you’ll be able to remove the damaged tire. You can store the old tire in the trunk or where your spare was located. You can then replace it with the spare tire.
Next, you’ll get the lug nuts back onto the bolts, just finger tightening them. Then, turn the bar on the jack counterclockwise to lower the jack.
Use the lug wrench to finish tightening the lug nuts. You’ll want them pretty tight to keep the tire secure.
Keep in Mind
If you’re unable to get the lug nuts loose or find you don’t have the right equipment, your insurance may cover roadside assistance. You can simply contact your insurance company and request the service.
Even if your insurance doesn’t cover this service, you can find some mobile tire shops. SOSMobileTire.com is one example located in Davie, FL.
Learn More Car Skills
While we hope you’ll never have to deal with an untimely flat tire, we hope you’ve picked up a few tips on changing one.
If you’re interested in learning more about car maintenance, we have other great resources like this on our blog. Be sure to check them out too and don’t forget to share this one on social media with your friends and family.