How To Change A Flat Tire

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Changing a tire is relatively simple and can be done in eight steps or less.

There are some things that people just have to learn the hard way. How to change a flat tire should not be one of them. Few things are more frustrating than getting a flat tire on the way to work or the airport, and few things are scarier than being a young woman alone at dusk and realizing that she just blew your tire.

Every driver should know how to change a tire, and in theory, it’s not that hard to change your flat and save yourself some time and the fee for roadside assistance. Preparation is a big factor in how well someone makes it through an emergency.

A car will come with a spare tire, but it may or may not come with a jack and wrench, which a person will definitely need, and it will be extremely helpful to have at least one brick or small cement block to prevent the car from rolling. A person needs to make sure when he first buys his car that he has, or puts, these things in the trunk with his spare.

So what does someone do when you realizes he has a flat? The first thing to do is make sure the car is properly stopped. This means the engine is shut off, the gear is in Park, and the emergency brake is engaged. If the driver is driving when the tire goes, he shouldn’t slam on the brakes; instead, he should grip the steering wheel firmly and ease his foot off the accelerator to let the car slow gradually. By all means, pull as far off the roadway as possible, then brake lightly to come to a complete stop. Always he should stop on flat land and never a hill.

He should put his brick(s) behind the tires he is not changing to anchor the car. He should use as many bricks as he has, and tuck it as close to the wheel as he can. This is just some extra protection against rollaway, so it’s no big deal if he doesn’t have them.

He should place his jack under the car near the flat tire. He should make sure the jack is right side up, and to the “inside” of the car (in front of back tires and behind front tires). A spare tire is smaller than a normal tire, but the car has to be jacked up high enough to easily slide your spare tire onto the car.

He should use the wrench to loosen the lugnuts (he will most likely have the “+”-shaped wrench). He should hold his wrench parallel to the ground and cap a lugnut with it, then turn it counterclockwise. Remember, “lefty-loosey, righty-tighty”. If he doesn’t have the strength to make the lugnut loosen at first, he can use one foot to step on the wrench while it is on the lugnut until the hold is released, and then finish loosening it with your hands. There will be about five lugnuts to loosen.

He should slide the flat tire off and put it in the trunk, then hold your spare tire up and align the holes with the screws on the wheels, then slide the spare on.

He should put the lugnuts back on your wheel, turning clockwise. He should put them all back and not try to save time by skipping one or two. After making sure they are secure, he should then lower the jack to let your car back down to the ground.

He should go to the garage as soon as possible because a spare is only meant to be driven less than 25 miles, and less than 40 mph. Many people recommend going straight to the closest garage around.