Tips and Advice

How to Change a Flat Tire

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woman using a jack to change a flat tireAlmost 1 in 5 U.S. drivers don’t understand how to change a flat tire, in accordance to AAA. Even for motorists who do understand how to change a flat tire, it’s not one thing that comes as naturally as filling up the fuel tank or whipping into a parking spot.

So, whether or not you’re clueless or simply a little rusty, it’s time to rise up to velocity on fixing a flat. In any case, you by no means know once you may find yourself stranded alongside the aspect of the street with no cell service! Right here’s our step-by-step information to get you and your car again on the street after a flat tire (a minimum of briefly).

Straightforward Steps to Change a Flat Tire

1. Discover a protected spot.

When you’re conscious that you simply’ve acquired a flat tire, don’t brake or flip instantly. As an alternative, lower your velocity slowly and search for a place the place you possibly can safely pull over to assess the state of affairs. A parking zone or a vast shoulder are two nice choices.

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2. Activate the flashers.

In case you’re nonetheless alongside the aspect of the street, ensure to flip in your flashing hazard lights in order that different motorists are conscious of your presence! Hazard lights will assist maintain you and different motorists protected.

three. Forestall your car from rolling.

After you’ve come to a full cease, apply the parking brake. This manner, you’ll be able to scale back the danger of your car rolling ahead or backward when you’re altering the flat tire.

Wheel wedges may even assist forestall rolling. Should you don’t have wheel wedges, bricks or giant stones will do the trick.

In case you’re altering a rear tire, place the wedges earlier than the entrance tires. In case you’re altering a entrance tire, set the wedges behind the rear tires.

four. Seek the advice of the proprietor’s guide.

After you’ve discovered a protected place to park, placed on the hazards, and secured your vehicle, pull out your proprietor’s guide. Search for vehicle particular directions for fixing a flat tire. Your vehicle might have distinctive necessities.

5. Discover your spare tire.

The precise location of your spare tire can range relying on the kind of vehicle you drive. In lots of compact automobiles, the spare tire is situated within the trunk underneath a latch. Some trucks and SUVs hold the spare tire suspended underneath the vehicle. Your proprietor’s guide will inform you the place to discover your spare tire.

By the best way, many automobiles don’t have spare tires, in accordance to AAA. In case your car doesn’t have one, go to your native Firestone Full Auto Care as quickly as you possibly can to study extra about spare tire choices and put together for an emergency.

6. Search for the required instruments.

In case your car got here with a spare tire, then it additionally probably got here outfitted with two instruments you’ll want—a jack and a lug wrench. Verify the trunk!

7. Take off the hubcap or wheel cowl.

If a hubcap is overlaying the lug nuts (they’re in a circle on the middle of your wheel), take this off earlier than you go any additional. Generally, you possibly can pry off the hubcap with the flat finish of a lug wrench. Nevertheless, it is best to learn the proprietor’s guide to be sure to don’t want a particular software to do the job.

If the lug nuts are seen, you possibly can transfer alongside to the subsequent step.

eight. Loosen the lug nuts.

With the lug wrench, twist the lug nuts counter-clockwise. You may want to use your foot or apply your physique weight to loosen them, and that’s completely positive.

Loosen the lug nuts about one-fourth to one-half of a flip. Don’t take them off but. It’s necessary to loosen them earlier than elevating the car on the jack.

9. Place the jack beneath the car.

However the place? Often, the jack ought to go underneath the vehicle, subsequent to the flat tire. Most car frames have a specific indented area that’s designed to accommodate the jack. Really feel for it and ensure the location is sturdy. Your proprietor’s guide might specify precisely the place to put the jack, so that is a nice time to double examine.

10. Carry the car with the jack.

As soon as the jack is within the right place, use it to carry the car about 6 inches off the bottom. Jacks can differ, so ensure you’re utilizing your jack appropriately and following the directions.

Warning: Hold your palms, ft, and different physique elements away from the underside of the car throughout or after the method of lifting up the vehicle with the jack!

eleven. Take away the lug nuts.

It’s time to take off the lug nuts. At this stage, you need to be in a position to twist them off together with your fingers.

12. Take off the flat tire.

Seize the tire by the treads and ease it towards you till it’s completely free from the wheel hub. To stop it from rolling away, place the tire on its aspect.

thirteen. Placed on the spare.

Get the spare tire and put it on the wheel hub by aligning the rim with the lug bolts. Ease the tire onto the car till the lug bolts are seen by way of the rim.

14. Screw on the lug nuts.

Place the lug nuts on the lug bolts and screw them on by hand, however don’t tighten with a wrench. Work in a star-formed or criss-cross sample, beginning with the highest lug nut then shifting to the nut that’s virtually immediately reverse from the one that you simply simply tightened. Working on this sample helps in two methods. One, it helps the lug nuts keep appropriately positioned once they’re tightened with the wrench, and two, it reduces the probability of a wobbly wheel.

15. Ease the car again towards the bottom.

Partially decrease the car in order that the spare is on the bottom, however the full weight of the vehicle isn’t resting on the tire. That is once you’ll need to make certain the lug nuts are as tight as potential by screwing them on clockwise with the wrench. As soon as once more, you may want to use some drive to do that.

sixteen. Utterly decrease the car.

Now, it’s time to decrease the car all the best way to the bottom and take away the jack. Examine the lug nuts one final time to be sure they’re as tight as you can also make them.

17. Placed on the hubcap.

Should you had to take away a hubcap, put it again on now. Retailer the hubcap in your car if it gained’t match over the spare tire.

18. Examine the tire strain.

Verify the strain within the spare to see whether or not it has an enough quantity of air. Short-term spare tires sometimes require 60 psi. If the tire strain is low, slowly drive to a Firestone Full Auto Care or different service station.

19. Pack up your instruments.

Go searching you. Be sure to’ve stashed the jack, lug wrench, wheel wedges, flat tire, and hubcap (if relevant) in your car. Additionally, ensure you keep in mind to launch the parking brake earlier than you’re taking off!

20. Go to a tire professional.

Spare tires are meant to be momentary. In different phrases, you shouldn’t be touring lengthy distances or at excessive speeds in case you’re nonetheless driving on a spare. A educated technician at Firestone Full Auto Care shall be in a position to inform you whether or not your flat tire might be repaired or wants alternative.

In case you by no means need to get caught on the aspect of the street altering a flat tire once more, ask a tire technician at your native Firestone Full Auto Care about DriveGuard tires. DriveGuard tires can take a puncture and nonetheless drive up to 50 miles at speeds of up to 50 MPH. Are you able to say the identical about your present tires?

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