Having a car means that you are now open to a lot of places due to the freedom of transportation. You can go from one place to another, wherever you want, whenever you want it. But the possibility that you might get stuck on a spot because of a flat tire is also high. It is unexpected and might happen at deserted and secluded places. So what’s the best thing to do? The answer to that question is to learn how to change a tire all by yourself. Knowing this knowledge will help you when the scenario finally arrives. Here’s a step by step guide on how to properly change you flat or blown up tire with or without help.
Step 1: Move to Safe Grounds
When you finally realize that there’s a problem with your tire, maneuver to a stable, flat and traffic-free spot. First, you would need to switch on your emergency flashers so that the other drivers would know that there’s something wrong with your car. Once that you’ve settled in a flat ground area, apply the emergency brake so your car won’t roll and would stay in place while you’re working on it. If you’re going to fix a tire from the front, it’s best to put something strong and heavy, like a stone or brick, at the rear tires; vise versa.
Step 2: The Jack
It is now time to get your tools, and the first one is the jack. You need to place it at the frame beside the tire that you will be replacing. Placing it at the right spot, which is the metal portion of the frame, is very crucial. If you’ve put it wrongly, the molded plastic along the bottom of the car might crack once you’ve lifted it with the jack. Secure the jack in place; make sure that it is entire supporting the car.
Step 3: Loosening Up
We now need to remove the nuts, which should be done counterclockwise, then the hub cap. You can use the wrench, either an average cross wrench or the wrench that comes with your car, to loosen up the nuts. Make sure that the right wrench slips into a nut and would not jangle. Nuts are very securely put on, so it might need some force to loosen them up. If it is a bit harder than expected, you can apply more force into the wrench, but make sure it is the right way, so you would not be tightening it more.
Step 4: Lifting It Up and Screwing Out
You will now lift the car with the jack, pump it up until it is high enough that you can easily take off the tire. As you lift, make sure that the car is in a stable state. If there are any complications, lower the jack at once and fix it again, until you are assured that it is in place and the car will be safe as you lift again. Now, you will have to take off the loosened nuts and the entire tire itself. Just a piece of advice, place your flat tire under the car, so if ever the jack would create some problem, your car will land on the wheel, preventing severe damages.
Step 5: Spare Tire
Now, you will have to put the spare (new) tire at the hub. Align its rim on the wheel bolts, and then you can now put on the lug nuts. At first, it might turn easily, but make sure that they are all secure, snug and tight. Tighten them with the wrench (by hand) and take time turning each of the nuts. There’s no need to rush, besides, “slowly but surely” is a very handy way to fix a tire. If you think that you have tightened enough the nuts, don’t overdo it. You have more chance to tighten it again once you’ve taken off the jack and the car’s tire is back on ground again.
Step 6: Lowering It
Lower your car slowly, once it’s on the ground again, tighten the nuts more until you are satisfied and assured that they are now completely intact on the tire. Put the jack aside and put back the hub cap. You can now put your old tire at the compartment at the back and you can now drive away again, safely. Hopefully, your drive will be safe, but if you’ve really secured and turned those lug nuts tightly, there will be no problem at all, until you arrive at a mechanic that can fix your old tire so that you can use it again at your expense.
Yes, changing and fixing a flat or blown up tire can be a lot hassle, but we need time and patience to really replace it properly and ensure the safety of the passengers of your car. It might look intimidating at first, but fixing tires is actually easy, once you get the hang of it. More tips, always have a spare tire with you, wherever you’ll go, so that you will have it in case of emergencies that you can never expect. Ensure that you also have the tools with you, so you have things to work with the tires. Be responsible and don’t be afraid to replace a flat tire, if there is no one to help, then you have to do the work. Familiarize the procedure, or you can actually practice at home, so you will get the hang of it. It’s also best to always check your tires, or your entire car, before going out. Safety is a huge factor with cars, not just the sleek style or performance. Now with these steps, you can be sure that you’ll never be stranded again, even if you’re all by yourself.