It’s bound to happen at one point or another. You’re in your car driving along, thinking about that meeting, assignment, or your child’s play later in the evening, when it happens. All of a sudden your car jerked to one side and you hear the flapping of rubber on the pavement. At this point you’re either extremely upset or extremely scared. Take a deep breath and calm down. Pull your car over off the road and just breathe. You have a few things to do before you can get back on the road. If you have roadside assistance, now would be a good time to call them. If you don’t let’s take a look at these steps on how to change a flat tire.
1. Find a safe spot to pull over. If you’re on the freeway, take the next exit even if you have to drive on a blown tire, it’s usually safer than pulling over on the side of the road. However, if you must, pull as far onto the shoulder as possible. Choose a flat spot; jacking up your car on a hill can be extremely dangerous. If you have a manual transmission, leave your car in gear. Be sure to set your parking brake!
2. Turn on your hazard lights. Get the jack, wrench, and spare tire from the trunk of the car and bring them over to the tire that is flat.
3. Use the wrench to loosen the lug nuts. You may need to remove the hubcap. Don’t remove the lug nuts at this point; simply loosen them by turning the wrench to the left. If the lug nuts are really tight to take off, try placing the wrench on the nut and standing on the wrench arm to use your full weight on it. You can also try hitting the wrench arm with a rock.
4. Use the jack to lift the vehicle off the ground. Consult your owner’s manual on where to place the jack. Once the jack is securely in the correct spot, jack up the car until the tire is about 6 inches off the ground.
5. Remove the lug nuts and pull the tire off the car. Make sure to place the lug nuts together and in a pile so that they won’t scatter. Pull the tire straight toward yourself to remove it from the wheel base.
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