Changing flat tires: what did you miss?
Changing a Flat Tire: An Easy Process
If you drive for a number of years, the probability is quite high that you will get a flat tire at some point. It's virtually a rite of passage for drivers. For those that have never changed a flat, we have some tips on how it's done.
1. Anticipate It.
First, consider some common sense things like a first aid kit, a snow shovel and a set of jumper cables to keep in your vehicle. While you are at, if your car is an older one, make sure you have everything for changing a flat tire on board. These things would be a spare tire, a lug wrench and a car jack.
2. Get to a Safe Stopping Place
Picture this: you're driving to work and all the sudden a tire goes out. It's not a subtle thing, the side of the car that the flat is on will drop down and you'll hear a fluttering sound.
First thing to do is find a safe place to stop where you may pull off the road. Seek out a parking lot or another open area. If an open area isn't available, make sure to pull as far over as you can to lessen the likelihood of getting struck by other cars.
3. Get Out the Equipment
With your vehicle parked, you now need to unpack your jack, spare and lug wrench. If you're prepared, you will already be familiar with the location of this gear. If not, consult the owner's manual.
First, remove the hubcap if it's what is blocking access to the lug nuts. Next, you need to break each lug nut loose BEFORE jacking. That's done with the lug wrench and turning each lug nut counter-clockwise just about a half turn.
4. Jack the Car Up
With the lug nuts loose, it's time to lift the car up in the air. Consult your owner's manual to see where to secure the jack on the vehicle and begin cranking. If you're on an incline, it's best to put a big rock or piece of wood in front of a tire so the vehicle can't roll.
While jacking the vehicle, make sure to lift it high enough that the wheel comes off the ground with a good amount of clearance.
5. Now here's the fun part
Now that the flat tire has been removed, it is time to install your spare. Simply lift it up and push it into place, ensuring all studs align with the rim's openings. Now, spin the lug nuts onto the wheel studs finger tight.
After that's done, ensure nothing is left underneath the vehicle, then carefully lower the jack down. With the jack out of the way, tighten the lug nuts (clockwise) with the lug wrench. Make sure they're good and tight.
Thank you to the Service team at Waldorf, a full-service Dodge and RAM car dealer in Waldorf, MD, for sitting down with us to discuss how to change a flat tire!
Source: Wardorf, MD