A flat tire never happens at a convenient time: you’re on the side of the road on your way to an important event, or you have your kids in the car on the way to family vacation. Either way, you now have a flat tire and can’t or don’t want to wait for a service truck to come out and help you. You can change a flat tire on your own, and here’s how.
Park the Vehicle
It’s important to make sure that your vehicle is parked somewhere safe, and away from traffic. In changing a spare tire you will be working around your vehicle so you want to make sure you are away from oncoming traffic. If you can’t leave the side of road, for example, because you’re on the highway then you should make sure your car is as far off to the side of the road as possible and that you put your hazard lights on.
Reinforce the Tires
You’re going to be jacking up the vehicle in order to remove the flat tire and replace it with the spare. You will need to somehow provide extra stability for the vehicle and to make sure it doesn’t roll while it’s jacked up. To do this, you can use pieces of wood or bricks or even whatever you have available to put in front of the tires to keep it in place.
Get out the Equipment
You’ll want to complete this task as quickly as you possibly can, so get out the spare tire and the jack and all the tools needed to change the tire. Placing everything out where you need it, when you need it will also help to make sure you have what you need so you aren’t in the middle of changing the tire only to realize you can’t complete the task.
Jack up the Vehicle
Next you need to jack up the vehicle and start the process of taking the tire off. When you do this, you need to make sure you lift it up enough that you have clearance for taking off the flat tired but not so much that you’re almost lifting the car off the ground – it needs to be retain pressure on the ground for stability. You’ll need to remove the hubcap (if you have one), the lug nuts and take the flat tire off.
Replace the Tire
Now that the old one is off you can put the spare on. The spare tire will be slightly smaller and possibly thinner than your regular tire. It isn’t meant to completely replace your tire, so you will need to get to a repair shop very soon to get a regular tire replacement. As you’re ready to let the jack down, you will want to let it down slowly and not just suddenly drop the vehicle as this could cause damage. Bring it down as slowly and evenly as possible.
The spare tire is meant to get you about 50 or 100 kms just so you can get to safety and get a new tire, not so that you can keep driving. After you have successfully changed your tired and the spare is on – ensuring the lug nuts are tight and secure – you will need to pack up the old tire and rim and be on your way to getting a new tire.
If you do not feel comfortable changing a tire on your own, a good idea would be to contact many of the towing companies in the city or area you are having problems in.