Don’t Let A Flat Tire Ruin Your Day

Don’t Let A Flat Tire Ruin Your Day

Imagine you are driving somewhere in a city you are not familiar with. It’s late at night and you get a flat tire. Sounds like the opening scene of a cheesy horror movie, right? Well this story does not have to end badly. You can relax if you know how to change your own flat tire.

If you happen to get a flat tire while driving your car, the first thing you will need to do is slow down and pull to the side of the road. Do not try to continue to drive on the flat tire or you will do a lot of damage to your wheels and rims. If you are on a highway or busy road, make sure you are far enough over to the side so that you are out of the way of passing cars.

Always carry a spare tire in your trunk. A spare is a small tire sometimes referred to as a “donut.” Most cars come equipped with a spare tire already. The two most important components you will need to change your tire (besides the tire) are a jack and a tire iron. Once you have found the spare tire and the tools you need, make sure your car is in park and that the emergency brake is on. This is very important because you don’t want the car rolling away or worse… rolling on top of you. Most importantly, never change a tire if your car is parked on a slope or a hill. Make sure you are on a flat surface.

Next, you will want to pick up the tire iron, it is shaped like an “L”. Place the tire iron over the lugs of the wheels and turn them. The lug nuts will most likely be on there pretty tight so use some force. Remember the old saying, “lefty loosy” and “righty tighty.” Once the lugs are loose, put down the tire iron and don’t touch the lugs. You won’t want to actually remove them yet. Now it is time to begin the process of jacking up your car. Refer to your owner’s manual if you are unsure how to use the jack and where exactly it should be placed under your car. The flat tire will need to be raised completely off the ground. Once this is done, you can remove the lugs and the tire completely.

Next, it’s time to put on the spare tire. Hold up the tire and align the holes with the wheel studs. After you have the tire hanging on the wheel studs, start putting the lugs back on, using the tire iron to make sure they are on tight.

Once the spare tire is on, use the jack to lower the car back to the ground. Now that the car is on the ground, tighten the lugs one last time. Place the flat tire in the spot where your spare tire was and drive to your nearest service station. Remember, your spare tire is small and was not meant to drive on for long periods of time or for lengthy distances. You will want to get your flat fixed as soon as possible.