How To Change A Tire In 10 Steps
There is no denying it - as a driver you are bound to experience a tire failure at some point or another. Of course, having roadside assistance service is great, but what do you do if you have to rely on yourself to do the job? Would you even know where to begin? Read on to find out how to change your tire and replace it with a spare in these ten easy steps.
1. Find A Safe Place To Pull Over
If you notice something wrong with your tire, slowly reduce your speed and find an area of road that is level, straight, and has a wide shoulder. Then, put your hazard lights on and use your parking brake. To change your tire, you’ll need a spare tire (usually found in your car’s trunk, sometimes hidden in a compartment under the floor), wheel wedges, a manual car jack, a lug wrench, a tire gauge, and a tire inflator. These are items you should always carry in your vehicle.
2. Place Your Wheel Wedges
Wheel wedges prevent your vehicle from rolling while you fix a flat tire. If you’re changing a rear tire, you should place your wheel wedges in front of your front tires, and if you’re changing a front tire, you should place the wheel wedges behind the rear tires.
3. Loosen The Lug Nuts
Expose the lug nuts, if your tire has a hubcap. You may have to use force to loosen it and make the lug nut turn. Loosen the lug nuts by completing a half turn counterclockwise and leave them until it’s time to remove the tire from your vehicle.
4. Place A Jack Under Your Vehicle’s Frame
It is important to check the owner’s manual before placing the jack to avoid damaging your vehicle. When you’ve placed the jack in its proper position, raise your car about six inches. Don’t put any part of your body under the vehicle when using the jack.
5. Remove The Lug Nuts And Tire
Remove the lug nuts on the tire by hand. After you’ve removed the lug nuts, you can remove your tire from the hub by gripping its treads and pulling it towards you. Place the tire on its side on the road so it doesn’t roll away.
6. Mount The Spare Tire On The Car And Replace The Lug Nuts
Make sure to line up your spare tire’s rim with the lug bolts connected to the hub. Then, push the tire towards the car until the lug bolts are through the rim. You can then put the lug nuts back on the bolts and tighten them by hand as much as you can.
7. Lower Your Vehicle And Tighten The Lug Nuts Again
Use the jack to lower your vehicle until the spare tire is resting on the ground, but don’t lower it so far that all the car’s weight is resting on the tire. Then, tighten the lug nuts with your lug wrench by turning the nuts clockwise. Push down on the lug wrench by using the full weight of your body.
8. Lower The Vehicle Completely
Now you can completely lower your vehicle to the ground and remove the jack. Double check that the lug nuts are as tight as possible using your lug wrench.
9. Check The Tire Pressure In Your Spare
Check the tire pressure of the spare tire to make sure it’s safe to drive on. A tire’s air pressure level is measured in pounds per square inch (or PSI), and a spare tire should be at 60 PSI. If the tire pressure is low and you have a portable tire inflator on hand, you can inflate the tire yourself. If you don’t have a tire inflator, drive slowly to the nearest service station immediately.
10. Visit A Mechanic ASAP
You shouldn’t drive long distances or at high speeds on a spare tire, so drive slowly and cautiously until you can see a mechanic. A mechanic will be able to tell you if your tire can be repaired or if you’ll need to replace it.
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