Let’s be honest – your car may suffer a flat tire no matter how careful you are when driving it. You risk damaging the tire and wheel or encountering an accident if you continue to drive on a flat tire.
Luckily, car manufactures made it simple to change tires and reduce the need for a mechanic. You have to learn how to change a tire and assemble appropriate tools for the task. Though the entire job will only take twenty to thirty minutes of your time, it’s worth it.
What You’ll Need
You should have a spare wheel to replace the punctured or faulty tire. A wrench will help you remove the wheel nuts, while a tire jack will lift the vehicle off the ground. Get a wheel chock to hold the car in place, a wheel nut key for the locking nuts, and a car manual for reference.
Have a pair of gloves with you to avoid staining your hands and a reflective jacket for visibility. You should also put a warning triangle beside your car to alert other drivers about your situation. Always carry a tire pressure gauge to measure the tire pressure of the new tire.
Park your vehicle to the roadside, turn on the hazard lights and switch off the engine. Remember to set the parking brakes to prevent the car from moving.
Here are some of the steps that will guide you through the work:
1. Remove the Hubcap and Loosen the Lug Nuts
A hubcap is a decorative disk on your car covering the central part of the wheel. You can use a hubcap hammer or a flathead screwdriver to remove it.
Insert the hammer or screwdriver into the part that lies between the cover and tire. Apply slight force on the tool until the hubcap starts coming out.
You should then loosen the lug nuts by placing a lug wrench over the tip of a lug nut. Rotate the wrench in the counterclockwise direction until the nut starts spinning. Repeat the same procedure on all the nuts.
2. Jack up the Vehicle
Refer to the owners’ manual to know where to place the tire jack. After putting it under the car, manually adjust its height between the ground and the car frame. The point of leverage should be facing outwards at all times.
Insert one arm of the lug wrench on the jack and slide it through the other holes. Hold the tip of the lug wrench and turn it clockwise for the jack to start rising. Raise the jack until you see the wheel rim spinning.
3. Remove the Lug Nuts
You may use your hand or a lug wrench to loosen and eliminate the lug nuts. Store the lug nuts in a secure place to avoid losing them. It may be difficult to remove lug nuts on an older car since they tend to rust and age.
Only start removing the faulty tire after removing all lug nuts. Place the flat tire aside by sliding it outside. You may buy new lug nuts from an automotive store if you lose them.
4. Install the Spare Tire
Remove the spare tire from your car’s boot or cargo area and prepare to install it. You may contact the dealership that sold you the vehicle to deliver a spare tire to your location. It may also be wise to ask a friend to bring the tire to you if you left it home.
Only use a tire that is rated on temperature resistance, traction performance, and treadwear. Orient the tire in the same direction as the previous tire for it to fit correctly. It should also be in line with the lug bolts on your car.
Use a tire pressure gauge to measure the tire pressure in the new tire. Ensure that the new tire is fully inflated before installing it in the car.
5. Lower the Car and Tighten the Lug Nuts
Insert a lug wrench onto the jack and rotate it in an anticlockwise direction. The lug wrench can help you tighten the lug nuts in a clockwise direction.
You may use your hands to tighten lug nuts onto the corresponding lug bolts in a clockwise direction. Tighten the nuts until they start feeling stiff to prevent the new tire from detaching from your vehicle.
The tire should be on the ground for you to tighten all of the lug nuts to avoid imbalances. It may also be difficult for your vehicle to move well with a suspended tire.
Finish off by placing a hubcap over the tire as you ensure that it snaps well. You may refer to your auto manual if you don’t know how to carry out this step.
6. Clean up
Place the punctured or faulty tire into your car’s trunk as you prepare to continue with your journey. Remember to put all the tools that helped you with this job away. Ensure that the tire pressure is optimal for driving and that the lug nuts are secure in place.
Before driving off, you should check whether the other tires have enough tire pressure. Check under and around the vehicle again for your belongings or tools.
Contact a mechanic from the nearest auto repair shop if the problem with the tires is harder to fix. Most auto repair shops have specialized management software from Tekmetric.com for digital vehicle inspections. They also use the software to manage repair orders, estimates, invoices, and inventory.
Need More Help on How to Change a Tire?
The quicker you deal with a faulty or punctured tire, the faster it will take for you to continue with your drive. Learn everything you can on how to change a tire to avoid getting stuck by the roadside. Remember to carry a spare tire and a tire pressure gauge in your car’s trunk.
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