Most drivers nowadays are like- ‘when I can just call a tire change service in, why should I even care about learning the whole thing!?’
Seriously, if you’re a driver there are some basic stuff that you ought to know; they are life-savers. “How to change a tire” is definitely one of them. For those who are completely relying on calls or other people, you never know when a situation can have you trapped on a remote roadside with no network.
So here, have a quick look at how you can simply replace a flat tire yourself.
Before you go ahead- it is not as hard as you’re imagining!
What do you need for changing tires?
You, of course, need a few basic things to change the tire. It is definitely a good idea to make sure you have these all the times.
A jack- for lifting the car.
Spare tire- you can’t really change the tire without a spare tire, can you?
Wrench- to open the lug nuts (nuts on the wheels).
Car manual- for any assistance or information you might need.
Wheel Wedges/ Bricks- to prevent the can from rolling while you’re working on it.
Check the best 35 inch tires buying guide and reviews.
Changing tires with a Jack
Repeating once again; changing a tire is no big deal. If you do it right, it shouldn’t take anything more than 15 minutes, even for a beginner. Simply follow along these steps to replace the flat tires. BTW, you can check best farm jack Reviews and buyer’s Guide.
Side and Park your car
Don’t panic if you notice flat tire. Soon as you feel your tires have gone flat, you need to park them in a safe place, especially if you’ve been driving on a busy road. Things to note-
- Don’t park on a sloppy, soft or uneven place. Instead, choose a solid, levelled surface.
- Pull handbrakes to prevent the car from rolling.
- For vehicles with no handbrakes, put reverse or first gear.
- Avoid parking in rush. Park at safe distance from traffic.
- Put the hazard lights or emergency flashers on.
- Put wheel wedges or bricks or any heavy object to ensure further that the vehicle doesn’t move.
Take the tools and tires out
After your vehicle is safely parked, pull the spare tire, the jack and wrench out. It is a plus if you have the user manual (we do recommend keeping the car manual in the car itself- until you have gone through it a few times).
Remove the wheel cover and loosen the nuts
Many car models have exposed nuts. But if your car does have wheel cover or hubcap, remove it. Then turn the nuts using lug wrench anti-clockwise just enough to break the resistance. (Don’t hesitate if this asks for some extra pressure). For the wrench, choose the one that easily slides over the lug nuts. Using the wrench that comes with the car is, of course, the best thing to do.
Note that, at this stage, you just need to loosen the nuts. You should take the nuts out only after the vehicle is in a raised position. If you try loosening the nuts when your can is in a raised position, you’ll probably end up turning wheel instead of nuts.
Set up the jack
This is one place where the car manual would come particularly handy; especially if you aren’t really sure of where to place the jack. Most cars today come with a mark for the places when the jack is meant to be placed. If you’re really stuck and there’s no mark or molded plastic along for placing the jack, place it on the beam right behind the front wheels or right in front of the rear wheels.
Once you’ve figured out and correctly placed the jack rotate its handle (or pump it; whichever way your jack works). Make sure the jack is raising forming perpendicular to the ground. If there’s any instability or if the jack is rising at an angle different than 90 degrees, lower it and correct it. Then raise the car high enough to lift the tire off.
While setting up the jack, or even after that, note to never put any of your body parts beneath the car. It can hold potential risks in the event of jack failure. For additional safety, you can use a small, extra jack after lifting the car to the required height.
Remove the nuts and the flat tire
Once your vehicle is lifted high enough, you need to ease out the nuts. For this, simply keep turning them anti-clockwise until they are loose enough for you to remove them. Post this, you need to remove the flat tires. The tire can come off easy after you have removed all the nuts.
In most cases, a jack failure won’t be causing any real problem since the support of the other tire would still be there. Still, to play safe, you can consider an extra jack or a column or bricks that can act as support just in case the normal jack fail.
Place the new tire on the hub and put the nuts back
While placing the spare tire, make sure that you place it the right way- the valve stem facing outwards. After you’ve correctly fit the tire in place, you should put the nuts back right, turning them clockwise and tightening them by hand as far as possible. Don’t use the wrench to tighten them further yet.
Lower the vehicle
Lower your jack, thus lowering the vehicle, just enough to touch the spare tire on the ground. See if the tire is balanced. Tighten the nuts further with the wrench.
You can now completely lower the car. If you wish, check if the lug nuts are tight enough. Tighten them further if so needed. Remove the jack and if you had removed the wheel-cover, put it back. About your flat tire, you can get it to a mechanic and see if the puncture is repairable. Else you can just dispose or sell it off.
That’s all and you’ve replaced a tire! Also, you can check out this one: How to Change a Tire On a Rim.