How do i change a flat tire?

All vehicle’s are vulnerable to flats, so flat tire’s are not a problem but more along the line’s of an unfortunate occurance. Most modern day vehicle’s built, will be provided with the required tools/spare needed to replace a flat tire with a good spare tire. It is every important to check your spare tire on a regular basis(check the tire pressure).If you own a newer model truck your spare tire will be under the vehicle’s bed, and your jack and tire-iron will be under the hood or under your back seat on some 4-door models. If you own a newer model car, your spare tire will be in the car truck next to the jack and tire-iron. Most suv’s and jeep’s will have the spare tire on the back of your vehicle. A tire-iron or 4-way will be needed to remove it. A tire-iron or 4-way will be used to remove the lug nuts that secure your wheel/tire to your vehicle. Note: 4-way’s will not be provided by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Most 4-way’s will come with four different common lug nut size’s used in vehicle production.You can purchase tire-iron’s, jack’s and 4-way’s at your local retailer or automotive parts store.

1.) Safety first! Always be careful when changing a flat tire.Once your vehicle is in a safe area(away from the road if you are near traffic) be sure to be in Park(P) and put the e-brake on. This will help secure your vehicle in place while your vehicle is jacked up in the air for the flat tire removal and spare tire installation. Be sure to use your hazardous lights, this will help warn on-going vehicle’s that your vehicle is there so drive by with care. Note: Some vehicle’s will come with some type of lug nut lock, used to prevent thief’s from doing what they do best. If your vehicle comes equipped with some type of lock nut, more than likely you will have one per tire. These ”lock nuts” will require a special ”key”(tool), that will be provided my your vehicle’s manufactuer. This key will be located near your jack and tire-iron or in your glove box. If you do not have a key or lost it you can order a new key at your local dealership.

2.) After you have your tools and your spare ready, be sure to place your jack in a good spot where your jack won’t slip off while your vehicle is in the air. Some floor jack’s have wheel’s and have been known to move when they are jacking your vehicle up, so be wise. Be sure to pick a place near the flat tire in question perhaps on the frame or an axle. So your first real step will be to loosen your lug nuts with your tire-iron or 4-way(righty-tighty lefty-loosy). If you use the 4-way, be sure to use the correct side/size so that you don’t strip the nuts. Tire-irons come in one size so be sure to have the correct size. Do not remove your lug nuts all the way off yet, just break them loose.

3.) Now you may jack your vehicle up with your jack, until you have enough clearance to instal a properly inflated spare tire after your flat tire is removed. While your vehicle is jacked up, remove the lug nuts all the way off and have them near by. After your lug nuts are removed, remove the flat and replace it with your spare. Use the same lug nuts that you just removed and use them to tighten your spare tire. The common method used for fastening your lug nuts is in a star pattern. Start at the top, then shoot acroos to the lug nut straight across from it. Continue this pattern until all the lug nuts have been secured and fastened. After you tighten the lug nuts as much as you can, lower your jack and remove it from under your vehicle. Note: Your vehicle will not be fully secured until after you tighten them for the second and last time while your vehicle is on the ground. After your vehicle is safely on the ground, use your tire-iron or 4-way to tighen up the lug nuts until it’s properly fastened. Now you are finished, just put your flat up and tools back where they go.

If your rim didn’t get damaged(bent or severly scratched), it can be reused. All it will need is a new tire, you can purchase most name brand tire’s at your local tire shop. Note: Some spare tire’s will not be the same size as the tire that you just removed, this smaller version spare tire should just be used temporarly. These smaller spare’s will have a maximun allowed m.p.h.(miles per hour) of about 45-50m.p.h. So be sure not to drive above the safe maximum recomended m.p.h, and drive straight to the tire shop or home. It is not safe practice to drive around with differnt size tire’s, as this may cause irregular wear and tear on you vehicle over a long period of time.

These are the basic steps used to change a flat tire. Remember that the most important step is being safe, so be smart and do NOT rush yourself.

Updated: May 14, 2011 — 6:26 pm

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