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How to Change a Flat Tire

25
November

Being able to change a flat tire is very important as you never know when it will be something you have to do. Try to get your vehicle to a safe location where you can do the process. If you are on the side of a road get as far away from the traffic as you can. You also want to have your vehicle on a level surface. Make sure you have set your emergency brake. If possible, chock all other tires too. This will prevent the vehicle from rolling.

You need to have a jack that works for your type of vehicle. Most vehicles come with a standard jack and tire wrench. Your owner’s manual will also have instructions about how to safely operate the jack. It will also tell you the proper location on your vehicle where you want to place the jack. After the jack is in place snugly, you want to loosen the lug nuts on your wheel – but don’t remove them.

Do this before you jack the vehicle off the ground. Then you are ready to jack the vehicle high enough that the spare tire easily slide on. Now you can finish removing the lug nuts and pull that tire and wheel off of the vehicle. Gently put the spare tire on but do so in a manner that won’t rock the vehicle as you do so. You don’t want the vehicle to slide off the jack or for the jack to tip to one of the sides. It needs to remain straight and snugly in place.

Replace the lug nuts onto the spare tire. You want to snug them into place but don’t completely tighten them. You don’t want to torque the wheel while the vehicle is still on the jack. Lower the jack and put it in your vehicle so it doesn’t get left on the side of the road. Now you can continue to tighten the lug nuts. If your wheel has five lug nuts, you want to tighten them in a certain order.

Start with the one that is closest to the top, skip the next one, tighten the next one, and then skip again. You should have tightened three out of the five in a triangular pattern. Now you can tighten the remaining two. This will ensure that your wheel is mounted flush to the hub of the vehicle. If you have a larger vehicle that takes six lug nuts, start with any one and then move to the one straight across from it. Continue that process until all six are tight.

If you are intimidated by the idea of changing a tire, you can practice at home. This is a good idea for all drivers to do, including younger drivers. That way they know how to use their jack and the proper way to put on the spare tire should they ever need to do so. It may take some time initially but once you get the hang of it, a spare tire can be put on in no time at all.

Since you never know if you will have a flat tire at night, you should carry a flashlight. Reflective triangles to put behind your vehicle while you work on it are a good idea. They give other drivers time to move over into a lane away from your vehicle.

When you are driving on a spare tire, you want to drive at a lower speed than normal. Check the side wall of the tire as that should tell you the recommended speed for safe driving. You do want to get your tire repaired and put back on the vehicle as soon as possible. The spare isn’t designed for long periods of use. After you have used a spare tire you want to inspect it to make sure it is in good condition. Routinely check your spare too so that if you do have to change a flat tire you will know you have it to depend on.

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