Change a Flat Tire

Changing a flat tire is an important skill that all drivers should learn. It can save you from being stranded on a stretch of highway or from waiting for hours until a tow truck arrives.

Follow these steps in order to successfully change a flat tire:

Tools. You will need a jack, spare tire and a lug wrench. These items are usually stored in the trunk of your vehicle. However, every car is different so it is important to locate these items before driving your car. If you do not have these tools, you should consider purchasing them at your local hardware store.

Park your car on a flat surface. Park your vehicle as far away from traffic as possible. Make sure to put on the emergency brake and emergency lights.

Remove the hubcap/ loosen the nuts. If your car has a hubcap, then you will have to remove it in order to get to the lug nuts. Once you have reached the lug nuts, loosen them with a lug wrench. It is very important not to pull the nuts out at this point; just loosen them.

Lift the car with the jack. Place the jack underneath your car and crank the jack until it meets the car. Keep on cranking the jack until the car lifts off the ground. Make sure that you place the jack in a sturdy spot. If you are not sure, check the car manual for the correct placement of the jack.

Remove the flat tire. Remove the loosened lug nuts from the tire. At this point, you should be able to remove the nuts with your hands. Once all the nuts are off, remove the tire and place it flat on the floor.

Put on the spare tire. Line up the holes with the lugs/bolts that are on the car. As soon as the lugs are lined up, tighten the nuts with your hand until you meet firm resistance.

Lower the car. Lower the jack until the car is firmly on the ground.

Tighten your lug nuts. Once the car has been lowered, you will need to secure the lug nuts. It is very important to fully tighten the lug nuts so that the tire does not fly off while you are driving. In order to make sure that the tire is secure, cris-cross the tightening. Start at a nut then tighten the opposite one next and so on.

It is always a good idea to double check the air pressure in your spare tire every once in a while to ensure that if and when you need it, it is functional.

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