This is a quick run-down on what to know and steps to take when changing a flat tire. We’re sure there are more tips than this, but these are good universal tips for all of us.
- Pull your vehicle as far over or even off the main road if possible for safety.
- Locate the jack and tire wrench in your vehicle. If you are unsure where it is, pull out the manual and look it up. Many times it is located in the trunk somewhere.
- Follow the instructions in your manual or on the jack to place the jack in the correct spot underneath and get it snug on the frame while not quite raising it up yet.
- Take your wrench and start to loosen each lug nut just a little so each is started.
- Once they are loose, go ahead and jack the vehicle up until the vehicle tire is off the ground.
- Once off the ground, loosen all the lug nuts until they come off. Pull the flat tire straight off. If you pull at an angle the rim may catch on the bolt threads and make it difficult to pull off.
- Roll the old tire off to behind the vehicle, and grab your spare tire. Many times the spare will look smaller than the original. That is because it is just made to be a temporary tire to get you to the tire garage and get the flat tire repaired or replaced.
- Take your spare tire and line up the bolt holes with the rim with the bolts or holes on the hub and try to put it straight on.
- Holding the tire on with one hand, take one of your tire bolts and start to screw it into the top hole. Once that is tight enough to hold the rim on, hand tighten the rest of the bolts on.
- Take your wrench and firmly snug them all up using a criss cross pattern instead of going clock-wise or counter-clockwise.
- Slowly lower the jack so the tire is now on the ground. Give each bolt a good turn to make sure they are all tight.
- Don't forget to put the jack and wrench back in their compartments, and throw the flat in your trunk. Since most spares are temporary it is wise to head straight to the tire center and have your tire fixed or replaced as soon as possible.
Follow these steps to keep your frustrations to a minimum with your unfortunate circumstance. If you ever feel you are in an unsafe area, call a tow truck to either change it for you or tow you to a garage that can help.