How to Change a Tire
There will eventually come a time when you would have to change the tire of your vehicle. You will be driving around to get some errands done and then, all of a sudden, your car starts to go on one side and you hear the sound of a tire that went flat. A lot of drivers have roadside assistance services which will come and take care of your flat tires, but knowing how to change it yourself is a smarter thing to do. Since it is common, manufacturers of cars have attempted to make the changing process of tires easy.
Look for a safe place
When you see that your tire is flat, do not panic and step on the brakes right away. You should gradually lessen speed and check what’s around you for an equal, straight road stretch that has a shoulder with enough space. Empty parking lots would be the perfect place. You can also choose level ground so that your vehicle will not roll.
You should not try to change tires along narrow shoulder close to traffic. Continue moving until you are able to find a spot. Make sure that you read the owner’s manual and check the specific steps on the proper way to change the tire for your car.
Look for the spare tire, jack and tire iron
The primary step to do is to look for the spare tire of your car, jack, and iron for the tires. Most of the time, the spare tire can be found underneath the mat in the vehicle’s trunk. If your vehicle is an SUV, pickup or minivan, though the tire is usually mounted on the tailgate of the vehicle or underneath.
When you have located the spare tire, remove it. If in case there is air pressure gauge available, you would want to use it to check the extra pressure in the tire. If the tire is too flat, you will get yourself into a little trouble. Although, you need to assume that you have been watching the spare tire’s health, and with perfect pressure.
Since the next thing you need to do is to remove the flat tire, you need to make sure that the car is properly parked on pavement. Do not try to change the tire if your car is on a slope or sitting on dirt. It would also be a great idea to block the other side of the tire. This only means that if there is a flat left front tire, it would be great to place a brick or any other large and heavy object behind the rear tire. When the tire is blocked, it will not most likely move when you raise it.
The lights used for hazard have to be turned on
Keep in mind that the “flashers” or lights will serve as guide to other drivers so they will catch you on the other side. You need to stay away from an accident and you can do this by turning them on when you know you have to pull over.
Loosen up the wheel lungs
You need to use the tire iron and the wheel lugs are too tight. You need to apply brute force and this can be loosened up by rotating them counterclockwise.
During this point, you don’t have to get rid of the lugs. You would want to cut them loose. When you have accomplished this already, change the position of the jack by putting it underneath the car. If you are not aware of the needed jacking points, you need to check them in the owner’s manual. When you encounter times like these, you will understand why you need to keep the manual inside the car, instead of at home.
Take off the hubcap or cover of the wheel
If your car uses a hubcap to cover the lug nuts, it will be easier to get rid of the hubcap prior to raising the vehicle. If the lug nuts get exposed, there is no need to do this step. You need to use the end that is flat to get rid of the cap. This is going to work for most of the vehicles, but certain hubcaps require a separate tool so they can come off. Look for the procedure in the owner’s manual.
Install the spare tire
You can position the spare tire on the wheel studs. This is probably the most challenging part of the entire process. It will be necessary for you to hold up and try to line the tire to the holes inside the wheel with protruding studs on the wheel found on the brake hub. One thing you can do is to help you in balancing the tire as you change its position. You might need to jack the car a bit higher compared to what you did so you can fit the new tire on since you have inflated the new one already and the flat one is lower.
Even if you already know how to change a tire, it is also important that you have the right tools so you will not have a difficult time doing it. You can take a look at the torque wrenches and choose one from the list. Having one of the products mentioned will make things lighter for you.
Check the pressure
You need to check the pressure of the spare tire make sure that it is already safe to drive. The temporary spares or mini-spares need 60 psi. If the tire requires pressure, look for a service station right away, but drive slowly.
Your flat tire has to be taken to a technician
The temporary spare ones are not built to go for long distances. So you need to be very cautious until you are able to find a tire technician. Professionals should not have a problem determining if your tire has to be repaired or if you need to replace it already.
You need to follow the steps so you will not a mistake in changing the flat tire of your car. This is especially crucial when you don’t have anyone else with you because it will consume a lot of time. Make sure that before you leave the house, you have everything you need with you in case your tire goes flat.