How To Perform A Flat Tire Change
At Intense Towing, we believe in helping motorists at all times, even when you want to do the work yourself. Of course, if you are in need of help roadside and want a towing company who knows a lot about cars and trucks, simply call. We understand that when you need roadside assistance, it’s not something you take lightly. That’s why we don’t take it lightly either.
For your convenience, we’ve put together this helpful, prioritized list that you can follow to change your own tire. If you need help, we’re just a phone call away.
#1. Slowly steer the car to a safe location.
When traveling the streets of Clinton, Maryland and you have a flat tire while driving, you’ll want to be careful how you react. A tire blowout can be quite nerve-racking. And when you need a flat tire change while driving, you could cause an accident if you overreact. When you feel the car pull to one side you might feel the urge to pull back hard the other way. But, pulling back hard the other way could cause you to crash into another vehicle. So, hold tight to the steering wheel and slowly steer the car to a safe location – out of the way of approaching traffic.
#2. Turn on your flashers
Once you have stopped your car, turn on your flashers. Also, many vehicles are equipped with orange safety triangles. If your car has safety triangles be sure to put them out on the roadway behind your vehicle. But be careful when walking around your car if you are on the shoulder of the road. Most motorists will move over when they see you. But, don’t take any unnecessary chances with your life. Keep your eyes on oncoming traffic in the instance that someone may be texting and drift onto the shoulder.
#3. Apply the parking brake
Once you have done what you can to alert passing motorists of your existence roadside apply your parking brake. This is done so that your car will not roll when you have it on the jack. If you have chock blocks place them behind and in front of one of your good tires. Chocking your tires also helps to avoid rolling.
#4. Locate your spare, jack and tire changing tools
The easiest way to locate your spare, jack and tire changing tools is to consult your owner’s manual. Depending upon the make of your car, the spare tire may be located in the trunk under the cargo area, or it may be attached to the undercarriage of your vehicle. If it is under the vehicle you will also need to locate the tools that allow you to release it. Again, consult the owner’s manual to determine the location of these tools and how to safely free the spare tire. At this time, you should ensure that your tire has the proper amount of air pressure. You will need a tire pressure gauge to do this. In most instances, the tire pressure rating for your spare is imprinted on the sidewall.
#5. Loosen the lug nuts.
Before you jack up the car, go ahead and loosen the lug nuts. Don’t remove them completely just loosen them by one or two turns. If your vehicle is equipped with locking lug nuts you’ll need to locate the key that allows you to remove them. The key is usually in the glove compartment or with the tire changing tools. Loosening the lug nuts prior to jacking the car up is done so as to avoid having the vehicle fall off the jack. Sometimes your lug nuts can be difficult to get off and all the movement required may cause your jack to sway from side to side.
#6. Jack up your car
Once you have the tire changing tools and you have loosened the lug nuts, you can go ahead and jack the car up. Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual to determine where exactly the jack should come into contact with your vehicle. Improper placement of the jack may cause damage to your car in many different ways. Plus, improper jack placement can cause injury or even death if the car comes off of the jack while you are changing the tire. You’ll want to ensure that you raise the car sufficiently so that there’s enough clearance for the spare to go back on.
#7. Remove the flat tire
Once you have jacked up the car high enough for the spare to go back on go ahead and remove the lug nuts and the flat tire. Be careful that you do not cut yourself on the steel belting on the tire. It is best to wear gloves during the entire procedure.
#8. Put on the spare
Once you have the flat tire off, you can then replace it with the spare. Line up the holes and slide the spare onto the lug bolts and put the lug nuts back on. It’s important that you tighten the lug nuts sufficiently so that the wheel doesn’t wobble when you begin to drive. To do this, tighten the lug nuts in a criss-cross manner. After you have the lug nuts securely flush with the spare and you’ve tightened them down sufficiently, slowly let the jack down. When you do, keep your eye on the tire. You’ll want to ensure that the spare tire remains inflated. If it doesn’t stay inflated you’ll need to call for a tow truck.