Having the skill to change a tire is a must for every driver. Depending solely on your cell phone for roadside assistance might not always work out as expected. Sometimes, your phone might be uncharged, out of signal range, or even forgotten at home. Flat tires can occur at any place and time; in such situations, knowing how to change a tire can be invaluable.
The good news is that changing a tire is easier than it may seem. Following the guidelines below, you'll be well-prepared if you find yourself dealing with a flat tire. Ready?
1. Look for a safe spot to start working. If you can, select an area with level ground. This can be at the side of the road or in a nearby parking lot. Once you're parked, set the emergency brake and turn on the flasher lights.
Note: If you're parked on a hill, placing a heavy object like a log or a rock in the direction your car might roll is a good idea. This simple precaution can help prevent any unexpected rolling.
2. Locate your owner's manual and spare tire, then find your tools. Now, it's time to check out your flat tire.
Some cars have their lug nuts exposed, but other models have them hidden behind a hubcap (plastic shield). If there is a hubcap, loosen the plastic screws and remove them. Then, with a lug wrench, loosen some lugs. Please don't remove them yet!
3. Locate your car's jack. Since some models are different, your owner's manual will tell you where to place the jack correctly. Usually, it's under the frame. Once ready, use the jack turning clockwise to lift your car. Stop when your tire is off the ground.
4. Remove all the lugs from the wheel with the lug wrench or by hand - you’ve already loosened them.
*Remember Left = Loose
5. Then remove the flat tire by pulling it towards you.
6. Mount the spare tire with the holes and screws aligned and then push the wheel on.
7. Screw the lug nuts by hand (turn the lugs to the right).
*Remember Right = Tight
8. Lower your car using the jack counterclockwise. Then remove the jack.
9. Once your car is back on the ground use the lug wrench to tighten up each lug nut.
10. You’re all set! If you can, check the tire’s air pressure at the nearest gas station where you can stop.
Remember, spare tires are not meant to replace a tire; they help you fix a temporary problem. When you can, drive to your nearest tire shop to get your old tire fixed or a new replacement. Remember, at OCHO, we are always here to help!
Note: some auto insurance quotes come with roadside assistance coverage that can help you in case of a flat tire. To explore auto insurance quotes, click here!