Being a safe driver is a very important part of operating a motor vehicle. Along with this should be the ability to do certain things in emergency situations. Despite all our best efforts to be equipped with cell phones, AAA, and even OnStar, a person may find themselves stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire. Replacing a flat tire requires only a few essentials. Knowing how to perform this automotive task will have you back on the road in no time.
Following the steps below you’ll be able to save yourself the hassle of waiting for AAA to come bail you out because you should be able to change the tire yourself. First, when you have a flat, pull over to the side of the road. If you are driving, put your vehicle into park, put on the parking brake, and turn on your hazard lights. Next, make sure that your vehicle is on a flat and firm surface. This reduces the risk of your vehicle falling off the jack when you raise it up. At the same time, make sure that you are not too close to traffic.
Doing this will keep you safe and give you the space that you will need to get this job done. Now, locate and get out your equipment: the spare tire, the jack, the wheel chocks, and the tire iron. Most vehicles come with all four of these things when you purchase them. If your vehicle did not, they can be purchased at your local auto part store. Second, place the wheel chocks on the opposite end of where the flat is. So, if your flat is on the rear end of the vehicle, you should place the wheel chocks in front of the front end tires.
The wheel chocks are used to keep the vehicle from rolling forward or backward, depending on what end you’re working on. Then you need to loosen the wheel bolts on the tire that is flat while it is still on the ground. If you were to try to loosen the bolts while the tire is in the air, it would just spin. After you have done that it is time to jack up the vehicle. Your car manual shows the proper positioning for the jack. Most jacks use either a screw or a lever mechanism that makes the job pretty easy. Raise the vehicle enough to get the flat off and to where you can get the spare tire on.
Finally, remove the wheel bolts completely and store them in a safe place; then remove the flat. Now, put the spare tire on with the air valve facing out, and screw on the wheel bolts. Next, lower the vehicle and re-tighten the wheel bolts using your tire iron. This step is very important because you cannot fully tighten the wheel bolts while the tire is in the air. This makes sure that your tire will not come loose while driving, which is a very dangerous thing. Afterwards, put your tools back in their proper place and load the flat into your vehicle.
You have successfully changed a flat tire. Now, it is time to get back into your car take, off the parking brake, turn off your hazard lights, and back on the road you go. In the end, every driver should be prepared to face this situation at least a few times in their life. The only thing we can really do is try to be ready for when it happens. Knowing how to change a flat can be really helpful because when the time comes you will be able to perform this task yourself. Even if you do have AAA or OnStar, it can’t hurt to know how to change a flat.