How to change your tires on the road
A flat tire is likely to affect you when in the most inconvenient place and at the most inconvenient time. It might be in the rain, dark or on the side of a busy highway. Also, you might be dressed up for a big event but when leaving your home or office you run over a nail. To use the least time possible when changing your tire, you should rely on the following steps:
Always plan ahead
Ensure that you have all items you need during the changing process. That includes the spare tire (which should be always in the right shape and with adequate air pressure), the wedges or blocks for the wheels, the lug wrench, the car jack and warning triangles or flares. Also, include a towel, flashlight and hand cleaner. A pair of gloves will come in handy for individuals who would like to protect their hands. Learn to use the lug wrench and jack in advance.
Choose the changing place carefully
You should slow down immediately if you start feeling a difference in one of your tires. Turn on the hazard flashers and locate the best place for changing the tire. Remember to select a stable surface that is not on downhill or uphill – to prevent the vehicle from rolling away from you during the flat tire changing process. Avoid parking on grass or dirt to prevent the car jack from sinking into the ground. Ensure that other drivers can easily notice you. Set up the warning triangles or flares.
Stabilize the vehicle
Now, turn off your car and apply emergency brakes. Make sure that the vehicle will not roll away during the changing process by putting bricks, rocks or wheel chock each wheel on the opposite side from the flat tire.
Assemble the necessary items
Fetch your spare tire from the vehicle’s trunk. Take the lug wrench, screwdriver, jack and any other useful tools.
Loosen the nuts
After gathering all the items, start loosening the nuts. First, you have to check the tire. Does it feature a hubcap or wheel cover? If so, use a screwdriver to remove it. After that, loosen the nuts by turning them one at a time in the counterclockwise direction using the lug wrench. The nuts should not be off – they should remain loose. Therefore, give each of them under one turn.
Lift up the vehicle
Take the jack and place it at the appropriate spot for lifting. The best location varies depending on the vehicle model, but the manufacturer’s manual should show you the right spot. Remember that placing the jack in the wrong spot can damage the vehicle. For most vehicles, you have to place it under the frame – closer to that flat tire. Lift the car around six inches from the ground and ensure that the space will allow easier slipping on of the fully inflated tyre. Remove the lug nuts.
Remove the flat tire
To remove the flat tire, you just need to pull it towards you using both hands. The tire is heavy. Therefore, you should be ready to handle the weight. Lay it down on the suitable place.
Put on the spare tire
Take the spare tire. Carefully aligning the holes on your tire and the studs, lift it into place. Put on all lug nuts, by turning them clockwise. Use your hands to tighten them. Now, lower the vehicle and remove the jack. Lastly, use the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts. Never attempt to use the lug wrench when the vehicle is in air.