You never know when one of your tires will blow out. You could be miles from home with no one to help you, so it’s best to be prepared.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Lug wrench
- Filled spare tire
This is really all you need, but it could also help to pack a poncho, a pair of gloves, a flashlight, a wooden plank, and some wheel wedges for extra support.
FIND A SAFE AREA
If you get a flat tire, drive slowly and find a safe place to pull over. If possible, find flat ground where your car is least likely to roll. You should also park in a spacious area where other drivers will see you and where there’s less chance of getting hit by another vehicle.
As soon as you park in a suitable spot, turn on your hazard lights. That would be the button with an orange triangle on it which causes your lights to flash and warn passerby’s.
Put up your parking brake to make sure your vehicle is nice and secure. To further prevent your car from rolling, you can place something against your wheels like a brick, wedge, or large rock.
REMOVE THE FLAT TIRE
If your vehicle comes with hubcaps or wheel covers, you’ll need to remove that to get to the lug nuts. After removing the cover (if you have one), start loosening the lug nuts without removing them all the way.
Place your jack under the frame along where your flat tire is. You can set a wooden plank down and put the jack on top of that to really make sure that the jack doesn’t slip while you’re changing out the tire. After you have the jack where you want it, use it to lift your vehicle about six inches off the ground.
Once your vehicle is lifted, you can remove the lug nuts completely by hand. Remove the flat tire and set it on its side before going for your spare.
EQUIP THE SPARE TIRE
Line up the rim of the spare tire with the lug bolts and push it in until the bolts show through. Tighten the lug nuts as much as you can by hand.
Carefully lower the vehicle and further tighten the lug nuts with a wrench, then replace the hubcap or cover if you had one. Woohoo, you just changed a tire! But don’t get too carried away and forget to back up all of your tools. You should also check the air pressure of your spare tire before driving off to make sure it’s safe.
Having a spare tire could save you in a tough spot, but it can only do so much. Make sure you drive slowly and carefully, and take your car somewhere to get your tire fixed or replaced immediately. Spare tires aren’t meant to be a permanent solution, just to get you to where you find a more permanent solution.