Rocks, nails or a bad break up can cause you to change a flat tire. Learning how to change a flat tire can save you time and money by not having to call roadside assistance. In some situations, you may not even have the luxury of calling for roadside assistance or calling anyone at all. Changing a flat tire is easier than you think! We will walk you through on how to change a flat tire.
Slowly Find A Safe Spot to Pull Over
If you are driving and notice that you may have a flat tire, first put your hazard lights on and start looking for a flat level area with a wide shoulder to pull off too. An empty parking lot would be the best spot. Trying to change a tire on a narrow shoulder of a busy road is dangerous therefore we recommend slowly driving with your hazards on until you find a safe area. Make sure that once you park, you also use the emergency brake to prevent the car from rolling.
Grab the Tools Needed
Grab the vehicle’s user manual, spare tire, jack and tire iron from the vehicle. The spare tire and tools are typically found in the trunk of your vehicle. Some vehicles come with a hazard cone so oncoming traffic can see you. Take the hazard cone and place it ten feet away from the rear of your vehicle.
Vehicle’s User Manual Is your Best Friend
Refer to the vehicle’s user manual for the locations intended for jacking the vehicle. Only certain parts of the frame of the vehicle are reinforced so it is important to find the proper locations to lift the car from. Now that you have found the proper location to lift your vehicle from, set up your jack and start lifting your vehicle! If you don’t know how to use your jack, don’t worry, your user manual should include instructions on how to use all the equipment that comes with your vehicle.
Loosen Lug Nuts
Once the tire is barely touching the ground, grab the tire iron and mount it onto a lug nut. Start loosening each lug nut by pushing the tire iron to the left. Remember “Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty”. By loosening the lug nuts in a star pattern instead of a clockwise/counter-clockwise pattern, this will prevent uneven threading of the lug nuts and ensure that the weight of the wheel is being evenly distributed on each of the mounting points, making removal easier.
Remove Lug Nuts and the Wheel
Once all the lug nuts are loose, start to remove the lugs and set them aside. Now, remove the wheel.
Mount the Spare Tire and Insert the Lug Nuts
You can now take the spare tire and mount it. Put each lug nut in and tighten them by hand in a star pattern.
Lower Vehicle and Tighten Lug Nuts With the Tire Iron
Once all of the lug nuts have been hand tightened, lower the jack. When the vehicle is on the ground, tighten each lug nut in a star pattern with the tire iron. By tightening the lug nuts in a star pattern instead of a clockwise/counter-clockwise pattern, this will prevent uneven threading of the lug nuts and ensure that the wheel sits flush against the mounting points.
Put Everything Away
Put away all your tools and the wheel with the flat tire! With a spare tire mounted, make sure to drive slowly to your nearest tire shop to either get a new tire or get your punctured tire repaired.