When you get a flat tire and are far from the nearest shop, there may be few options. Being stranded on the road is not a fun situation, but these steps on how to change a tire will help you get through this dilemma.
How to Change a Tire
Changing a car tire isn’t that difficult. In under 30 minutes, your efforts can pay off and you can get going once again.
1. Find a Safe Location
If possible, move your vehicle off to the side. Reduce your speed slowly without making abrupt stops or turns and find a location where you can avoid oncoming traffic. Don’t park on dirt, grass, or hills; the surface should be solid and level. Also, remember to activate your hazard lights.
2. Gather the Right Tools
Locate a jack, lug wrench, fully inflated spare tire, and vehicle owner’s manual, all which should be in your vehicle. You should also keep other items in your trunk. These include a working flashlight, wheel wedges, and a 2” x 5’ piece of wood for securing the jack, as well as gloves and a rain poncho.
3. Prepare Your Vehicle
Before you start to change the flat tire:
- Turn off your engine.
- Engage the emergency or parking brake.
- Apply wheel wedges to front or back tires (opposite from where the flat is).
4. Before Lifting the Vehicle
Remove the hubcap if there is one. When you have access to the lug nuts, apply the lug wrench and turn it counterclockwise. If the nuts are too tight, apply penetrating oil or use additional force with your foot. Don’t remove the nuts yet.
5. Raise the Vehicle
First, place the jack underneath the vehicle, where the metal is exposed. Follow the owner’s manual’s instructions for operating the device. The jack should be firm and perpendicular to the ground and raised to a height of about six inches. A piece of wood should be placed under the vehicle, in case the jack gives way.
6. Proceed with Removing the Tire
Turn all lug nuts counterclockwise and remove them. You should then be able to pull the wheel off. Using both hands, pull the flat tire towards you and place it under the car. If rust makes it hard to remove the tire, apply a liquid penetrate or hit the tire with a rubber mallet.
7. Install the Spare
When placing the spare tire, line the rim up with the lug bolts and push gently. Make sure the valve stem is facing outwards. Once the bolts appear through the rim, add the lug nuts and turn them clockwise by hand. Tighten them more with a wrench, but not completely.
Next, lower the vehicle until the spare touches the ground, but without the full weight of the car on it. Tighten the lug nuts all the way and lower the vehicle. Replace the hubcap and check the spare’s tire pressure.
Once your spare is in place, you can drive, but spare tires are designed only for temporary use. Get your vehicle to a technician as soon as possible.
Buy a Used Vehicle at CarWorld
Car tire maintenance is just one thing we take seriously. All used cars on our lot are thoroughly inspected to ensure reliability and safety. For help finding an affordable pre-owned vehicle that meets your wants and needs, with aggressive financing, and even drive away the same day, call 833-219-9951 or visit our dealership at 11916 Prairie Avenue in Hawthorne.