Getting a flat tire is never fun, but it’s certainly not the end of the world. In fact, changing a tire is a relatively simple process that anyone can do with just a few tools and a little bit of know-how. So, if you find yourself stranded on the side of the road with a flat, don’t panic!
10 Easy Steps to change a tire.
1. Pull over to a safe location:
The first thing you’ll want to do is get your car off the road. If you’re on the highway, try to exit at the next available exit. Once you’re off the road, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers.
2. Loosen the lug nuts:
Once your car is in a safe spot, it’s time to start changing the tire. Use your lug wrench to loosen—but not remove—the lug nuts that hold the wheel in place. It’s important to loosen the nuts before you jack up the car because it will be much harder to do so once the wheel is off the ground.
3. Jack up the car:
Place your jack beneath the car at one of the jacking points (consult your owner’s manual if you’re unsure where these are). Pump the jack handle until the wheel is high enough off the ground that you can easily remove it.
4. Remove the old tire:
Now that the wheel is free from the ground, remove the lug nuts and set them aside. Then, gently pull the old tire away from the car and set it aside as well.
5. Mount the new tire:
Grab your new tire and line it up with the empty space where you just removed the old one. Be careful not to damage or scratch any part of your car while doing this. Once the new tire is in place, hand-tighten each of the lug nuts to secure it.
6. Lower The Car:
Slowly lower your car back down to the ground and remove your jack from under it.
7. Tighten The Lug Nuts:
Now that your car is safely on solid ground again, use your lug wrench to fully tighten each of the lug nuts that hold the new tire in place.* Make sure they’re nice and snug—you don’t want them coming loose while you’re driving!*
8. Check Tire Pressure:
Once the tire is properly secured, check that it’s inflated to the recommended pressure. If not, use a compressor or hand pump to fill it up.
9. Replace Your Hubcap:
If your car has hubcaps on its wheels, take this time to replace them on the new tire before you hit the road.
10. Hit The Road:
Congratulations! You’ve changed your tire like a pro and are now ready to get back on the road. Before you go, take a few minutes to double-check that everything is properly secured and safe to drive with.
Changing a tire may seem intimidating at first, but with a few simple tools and some basic knowledge, you can do it yourself in no time. Just remember to stay safe and follow the steps outlined above for the best results. Good luck!
FAQs on Changing Tires
Q: What tools do I need to change a tire?
A: At the very least, you’ll need a jack, lug wrench, and spare tire. Depending on your vehicle, you may also need other tools like pliers or screwdrivers.
Q: Is there anything else I should do before changing my tire?
A: Make sure you have a safe spot to pull over and that your hazard lights are on. Also, check the spare tire to make sure it’s properly inflated before you begin changing the flat.
Q: Can I change my tire on the side of the highway?
A: It is not recommended that you change your tire on the side of a highway. Instead, try to access an exit as soon as possible and pull over in a safe location away from traffic. This is important for your safety, as well as that of other drivers on the road.
Q: What if my lug nuts are too tight?
A: If you find yourself having difficulty loosening the lug nuts, try using a breaker bar to get more leverage. If that still doesn’t work, you may need to enlist the help of a professional auto repair shop to remove them for you.
Q: Can I drive my car with only three wheels?
A: Absolutely not! It is unsafe and illegal to drive with only three wheels. Make sure to replace your flat tire as soon as possible in order to remain safe on the road.
Q: Is it OK to use a used spare tire?
A: Generally, it is not recommended that you use a used tire for any length of time. Used tires may already have hidden damage, and using them can be a safety hazard. It’s best to invest in a new spare tire that you know is safe to use.
Q: Can I change my tire without the manual?
A: Yes! You don’t need the manual to follow this guide on how to change your tire. However, it may be helpful to consult the manual when it comes to specific details about your car.
Q: What if I don’t have a spare tire?
A: If you don’t have a spare tire, you’ll need to call for roadside assistance or take your car to a nearby repair shop. They will be able to fix the flat tire or provide a new one for you.
Q: Can I save money by changing my own tire?
A: Absolutely! Changing your own tire is a great way to save money, as it eliminates the cost of professional installation. Furthermore, if you purchase your own spare tire, you can often get a discount for doing it yourself. Additionally, learning how to change your own tire will give you peace of mind knowing that you can handle any roadside emergency with ease.
Q: What should I do with my old tire?
A: You can either dispose of your old tire properly or keep it as a spare in case you ever need it again. If you choose to keep it, make sure that it is stored safely and out of the elements. Furthermore, check on the condition of your spare tire every few months to make sure it is still in good shape.
Q: What if I have trouble changing my tire?
A: If you find yourself stuck while changing your tire, don’t hesitate to call a friend or family member for help. Alternatively, you can always contact a roadside assistance service for professional help.