Nearly 200 million replacement tires are purchased in the United States each year. With numbers like these, it is inevitable that if you own a car, you will deal with a flat tire.
No one wishes for a flat tire. Car trouble is a big hassle, especially if you are stuck on the side of the road somewhere unfamiliar and are not sure of what to do.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of how to change a tire, so that when the time comes, you will be prepared, confident, and ready to move on.
First Things First: Safety
When your car has a flat tire, it will be very obvious. Some cars rattle or shake, or can begin to swerve on the road. Car drivers are quick to pull over in instances such as these.
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But once you pull over, you will want to make sure that it is in a safe area for changing a flat tire. You don’t want to start pulling off a tire right on the side of the highway.
Carefully bring your car to a safe space with plenty of room away from the road. Make sure you have enough room to kneel next to the tire while you work on it.
Equipment You’ll Need
The basic tools needed for changing a tire are a car jack, a cross wrench, and your spare tire. However, the basics can always be expanded upon.
Having a set of roadside flares or reflective cones can help make other drivers aware of your presence on the side of the road. Gloves can make it easier to get a grip on the cross wrench.
A torque wrench offers a finer ability to grip nuts and bolts, making it easier to remove your flat tire. What you keep in your car is up to you, but additional equipment can make changing a flat tire faster and safer.
Change a Tire
Now it’s time to change that tire. This simple guide will serve you well.
- Jack your car. Refer to your owner’s manual for directions on where to place the jack.
- Remove the tire. It will take some elbow grease, but begin working the bolts on the front of the hub cap off. Use the cross wrench and your torque wrench, if you have one, to loosen the bolts.
- Replace the tire. Place the spare within the wheel well of your car. Utilize the cross wrench once again to tighten the nuts and bolts until you can no longer turn the wrench.
Remember, practice makes perfect. Try out the steps of changing a tire in your driveway so you know how to do it before you’re on the side of the road.
Replace or Repair Your Tire
You can’t drive on a spare forever.
Visit a garage with great services to learn about options for repairing your flat tire. Patching a tire will save you some money, and can squeeze a bit more efficiency out of them.
Otherwise, visit a tire warehouse to find a replacement.
Preparation for Car Repairs
It always pays to be prepared for car emergencies. Keep this guide handy for the next time you need to change a tire.
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