You Still Need to Know How to Change a Tire
Although modern tires are made better and of higher quality materials than tires of several decades ago, you need to have the ability to change a tire just in case something happens on the road. “But I have run flat tires on my vehicle, why do I need to know how to do this?” might be what you are wondering, but even these tires can run into something that makes them go flat and need to be changed. These run flat tires are only meant to handle normal road debris and the occasional nail or bolt, but not for extreme circumstances.
Plan Ahead – Whether you were at one time a Boy Scout or believe in the motto of “Be Prepared” it’s always a good idea to have on hand what you need to be able to take care of some issues on the road. You need an emergency kit in your trunk with items that will help you change the tire on your car. It could be that you’re in your best dress outfit when you have the need to change a tire, so keep in mind the possibility of needing clothing in the kit to go over what you’re wearing.
Spare Tire and Tools – If your car comes equipped with what you need to be able to change the tire make sure the tire is properly inflated whenever you check the rest of your tires. This is an important part of being able to continue on where you need to go rather than being stuck with a tire that isn’t ready to be used. If all you have is a spray can of material such as Fix-A-Flat you’ll want to spend some money and add a spare (preferably a full size one) to your vehicle.
Location – As you stop to change the tire that’s gone flat you need to make sure you have plenty of room to work and get the job done. Just because there are lines on the road doesn’t prevent people from crossing the line by a few inches on occasion. Move to the side where it’s fairly flat and have a great way to give the space you need to get the job done when you’re changing a tire so that you aren’t in the way of traffic and don’t have to feel as though you’re going to be run over.
Get To Work – You need to chock the wheel opposite diagonally of the tire being changed and then get out your owner’s manual to make sure you perform the tire change according to the manual. It’s important to do this because not every tire and not every vehicle is the same, which means you might not be familiar with the exact way your wheel is set up and need to know how to change the tire properly. Once you can see the lug nuts, one of the key steps is to loosen them, not remove them before you lift the vehicle in the air.
Set the Jack – You can’t life your vehicle from just any part of the car, you need to locate the pinch flange and set the jack in that location. Most vehicles have a pinch flange that fits the jack that’s part of the equipment you have. Position the jack properly and turn the handle so it can engage with the vehicle. Once you have the vehicle in the air and the tire is off the ground, even just by a bit, finish removing the lug nuts and carefully place them in the hubcap for easy use.
Spare Time – After removing the wheel get the spare out and put it on the hub. Tighten the lug nuts, usually an alternating method is recommended but you need to consult your owner’s manual to be sure. After tightening them while in the air, lower the jack and the vehicle and then tighten the lug nuts once again. If you have a spare that came with your vehicle you will need to head to a tire shop and have a new tire put on the wheel of the one that went flat right away, if you have a full size spare, you might be good for a little while, but you still need to replace it soon so that you have a spare in case of another flat.