flat tire on a car

How To Change A Flat Tire For Beginners

When getting behind the wheel in a car, the idea that the driver may need to change a flat tire is usually far from one’s mind. However, knowing how to change a flat tire is a necessary skill, and should be known by anyone that drives vehicle. Flat tires are often an accident, and can occur anywhere for any number of reasons (i.e. driving over a sharp object that punctures a tire, hitting a pothole that damages a tire, driving on a tire with extremely low air pressure could cause it to flatten…etc.). The idea of having to do any type of repair to such a heavy, complex piece of machinery such as a car can seem overwhelming. However, with the proper items, changing a flat tire can be a relatively simple process. Always keep a jack, lug wrench, fully inflated spare tire and your vehicle owner’s manual in your car to ensure you are properly prepared should you find yourself in need of replacing a flat tire. The steps below can easily guide you through changing a flat tire.

Steps For Changing A Flat Tire

  1. Turn on your hazard lights. The moment you realize you have a flat tire turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers and avoid an accident. 
  2. Get to a safe location. Instead of stopping abruptly, slowly reduce your speed and locate an area near by with level ground and enough space to work. 
  3. Put on your parking break. This will reduce your vehicle’s ability to roll.
  4. Further secure your vehicle using bricks, wooden wedges, or large stones. If you are changing a rear tire, place them in front of the front tires. If you are changing a front tire, place them behind the rear tires.
  5. Remove the wheel cover by using the flat end of your lug wrench to remove the pry off the wheel cover until it pops off.
  6. Loosen the lug nuts by using the lug wrench and turning the lug nuts counterclockwise until the resistance breaks. Do not completely remove them yet: only loosen then between ¼ and ½ of a turn.
  7. Place the jack under the vehicle frame that is alongside the flat tire.
  8. Jack up the car about six inches off of the ground.
  9. Fully unscrew the lug nuts.
  10.  Remove the flat tire by holding it by the threads and gently pulling it towards you until it is completely free for the hub. 
  11.  Mount the spare tire on the lug bolts by lining up the rim with the lug bolts and pushing until the lug bolts are visible through the rim. 
  12.  Tighten the lug nuts by hand.
  13.  Lower the vehicle so the spare tire is resting on the ground, but the full weight of the car isn’t yet on the spare tired.
  14.  Fully tighten the lug nuts using the lug wrench and the full weight of your body by pushing it down and turning it clockwise.
  15.  Completely lower the vehicle and remove the jack.
  16.  If it fits on the spare tire, replace the hubcap, if it does not fit store it in your vehicle. 
  17.  Stow all equipment and be sure not to leave anything behind.

Take your flat tire to a mechanic to have the tire repaired (if possible) and put back on your vehicle, or to have a new tire put on instead. Regular tire maintenance can help you avoid getting a flat tire unnecessarily. This includes, keeping your tires properly inflated at all times, following the recommendations in vehicle owner’s manual regarding regular tire rotation, as well as keeping an eye out for any tread wear. These precautions can also help to prolong the life of your tires. The reality is that there is no way to completely prevent flat tires, so it is best to always be prepared. 

Further Information

As an automotive parts and supply shop with decades of experience we have access to extensive inventory. Northstar Automotive is staffed with incredibly knowledgeable professionals, dedicated to provide topnotch service to all its customers. Vehicles are continuously evolving and are becoming increasingly more sophisticated with each passing day. Whether you are in need of assistance with small tune-up or a large repair, we are here to help. Let us assist you and make sure you are equipped with everything you need to ensure all of your vehicles are in excellent shape. Please feel free to contact one of our sales associates for more information. We can be reached through our website’s contact us page. We look forward to connecting and providing you with outstanding assistance.

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