Knowing how to change a flat tire is one of the greatest skills you could learn as a licensed driver! At some point in their life, everyone will need to change a flat; it’s a necessity! So, rather than having to call your friend, dad, or roadside assistance, know how to do it yourself. You may be in a situation where you don’t have a cell phone, so this skill will save you. Here is an easy-to-learn process that is perfect for anyone wanting to learn how to change a flat tire in no time. Don’t worry; it’s not hard at all!
What do you need to change a flat tire?
Your car should have come with a jack, lug wrench, fully inflated spare tire, and your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Be prepared for a situation like a flat by checking to see if your vehicle has all of these tools. If you’re missing any of them, make sure to purchase them right away. Also, you should regularly inflate the spare tire to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended PSI! Make sure to check the pressure of all your tires, including your spare, before any type of long road trip as well.
Here is a list of tools you will need to purchase to change a flat tire that your car may not come with:
- Flashlight and batteries
- Rain poncho
- Wheel wedge
- Cut of 2” x 6” piece of wood to secure the jack
Safely change a flat tire!
-Pull over and turn on hazard lights!
So once you recognize that your tire is flat, find a safe place to pull over by slowly coming to a stop on the side of the road. Make sure you’re out of traffic on a wide shoulder of the road on a level, straight space. Then turn on your hazard lights to inform people that you are stopped.
-Put on your brake and apply wheel wedge
To keep your vehicle from rolling, apply your parking brake. Then put your wheel wedge against either your front tire or back tire, also to prevent your car from rolling while you put your spare tire on. Put your wheel wedge against your front tire if you’re replacing a back tire and vice versa.
-Remove hubcap and loosen lug nuts
If your vehicle has hubcaps, go ahead and remove them with your lug wrench. If you’re unsure how to do so, check your vehicle’s owner’s manual! Then use your lug wrench to loosen your lug nuts counterclockwise until you break resistance. Turn them about halfway but not completely!
-Use your jack
Place your car jack under your car frame alongside your flat tire. Read your owner’s manual to find out how to safely lift your vehicle. Then place your 2” x 6” piece of wood under the jack before lifting with the jack. Raise until the flat is lifted about 6 inches off of the ground.
-Undo lug nuts
Remove all the lug nuts all the way now by unscrewing them with your hand. Now, you should be able to remove your flat tire by gripping the tire by the treads. Carefully pull the tire toward you until it’s free from the hub behind it. You can then set it aside.
-Replace with spare tire
You can now place your spare tire on the hub, align the rim with your lug bolts, and give it a good push. Push in until the lug bolts come through the rim. Then tighten the lug nuts by hand.
-Lower vehicle and finish up
Use your jack to lower your vehicle back to the ground. Make sure when lowering it that your vehicle’s weight is not fully on your spare tire. Then tighten your lug nuts all the way with your wrench. Push down on it with your full body weight to make sure it’s tight. Then once it’s all the way lowered to the ground, remove your jack!
If your hubcap fits your spare, put it back on. If not, put it away along with all of your flat tire equipment!
-Check tire pressure!
Once you have packed up everything, check the tire pressure of your spare, so you can safely drive on it! Spare tires require 60 PSI! Slowly drive to the nearest gas station to fill up your spare tire, if needed.
Take it to the professionals!
Now that you know how to change a flat tire, make sure to take it in to your local automotive tire repair shop as soon as possible. Spare tires are only to be used temporarily. If you live in the Central Ohio area, we at Harris Automotive can repair or replace your tires, if needed, anytime! Our automotive shop is a full service repair shop here in Westerville and Blacklick, Ohio.
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