How to Change a Flat Tire
Invest a few minutes in your car once a week and you’ll not only save hundreds of dollars in potential repair bills, but you’ll also understand your car better. You might decide to hire everything else out-or not. In any case, you’ll have a clearer understanding and a sense of satisfaction-about your car.
To change a flat tire, follow these steps:
1. If you’re at the side of the road, turn on your emergency flashers and raise the trunk lid to signal to others that you are having a problem.
2. Use the flat edge of a tire tool or screwdriver from your trunk to pry the hubcap (if your tire has one) off the wheel rim. Use a tire tool to loosen, but not remove, the four or five lug nuts holding the wheel to the axle.
3. Place a block behind a wheel on the other axle. Then place the car jack under the car frame or on the bumper as described in the car’s owner’s manual. Stop raising the jack when the wheel is high enough to rotate the tire without touching the ground.
4. Remove the lug nuts and place them in the hubcap so they don’t get lost. Remove the tire and set it out of the way.
5. Install the spare tire on the car. Of course, you’ve been checking spare tire pressure during your weekly checks, so you know the tire is good! Screw the lug nuts on the car by hand, making sure the tapered side of each nut faces the wheel.
6. Lower the jack until the tire firmly touches the ground but isn’t supporting the car. Use the tire tool to tighten the lug nuts in a criss-cross pattern.
7. When all lug nuts are tight, lower the jack until it can be removed. Replace the wheel cover by pressing it against the wheel rim. If the wheel cover won’t easily go on, place it in the trunk and drive to a service station or tire shop so that they can install it for you.
8. Visit a tire shop immediately to have your flat repaired or replaced. You don’t want to get stuck 15 miles from town without a spare tire!