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MAIN Arrow to Shopping CarsCars Arrow to Car Repair & Maintenace Car Repair & Maintenance Arrow to Change a Tire How to Change a Tire

Changing a flat tire on the side of the road

Most motorists will have face a flat tire at least once in their lives. So becoming familiar with the tools and methods on how to change a flat tire is worth the time and effort to avoid becoming stranded, or relying on an emergency vehicle.

Just like being prepared for changing a broken headlight, knowing how to change a flat tire on some dark and stormy night is a very useful do-it-yourself survival skill for any car owner to have.

Here's how:

How to change a flat tire

  • Turn on your hazard lights and slowly pull off the road. Find the most level surface possible, avoiding soft areas or inclines. If you have them in the trunk, place flares or traffic cones in front and back of the car to alert other motorists that you're in distress.

  • Put car in "Park" and your emergency brake on, or a put standard transmission car in gear. If possible, place a wheel chock or any heavy object (a brick or rock) in the diagonally opposing wheel to prevent the car from moving.

  • Take out the spare tire, tire iron and the jack from the trunk. Remove the hub cap and use the tire iron to begin loosening the lug nuts. This will almost certainly require a bit of strength! If necessary, stomp down on the tire iron with your foot to release the lug's grip. Just make sure you're stomping in a counterclockwise position. Go ahead and loosen all the lug nuts, but do not remove the them just yet.

  • Next, place the jack under a safe jacking point (consult your owner's manual) under the frame near the tire that you are going to change. Jack up the car just enough so that the tire is off the ground, then remove the lugs with the tire iron or by hand. Set the flat tire aside, and be sure to place lugs in your pocket so they don't get lost.

  • Place the spare tire on the hub, and align the tire with the wheel studs. Once in place, screw each of the lug nuts back on by hand, then finish tightening using the tire iron.

  • With the spare tire now securely in place, slowly lower the jack and pull it away from under the car.

  • With the car now firmly on the ground, tighten the lugs again as much as possible. Replace the hub cap, and you're on your way.

  • Since some spare tires are only made for emergencies, most manufacturers don't recommend driving on one for more than 50 miles. As soon as possible, get to the nearest service station to get your flat tire patched or replaced.


More about changing a flat tire around the Web:

How to Change a Tire

How to Change a Flat Tire - The Art of Manliness

also see -> How to replace an air filter | How to change a car battery

How to do an oil change

For informational purposes only. For complete expert advice,
see your car dealership or professional auto mechanic.

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