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Tips on How to Change a Flat Tire

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How to Change a Flat Tire

Let’s take a moment and reflect on how many scary movies begin with an innocent coed stranded on the side of a deserted road with a flat tire. Can you just imagine how the movie might have turned out if she had known how to change a tire? That scary guy with an axe she decided to ask for help probably would have never met her! In order to make sure you don’t end up in a similar (a.k.a. deadly) situation, we’ve got an extremely essential bit of knowledge for you with these tips on how to change a flat tire.

Gather everything you need. All cars usually come with a spare tire attached somewhere. If your car has a trunk, more likely than not it’s hidden underneath the floor mat. Drive an SUV, minivan, or pickup truck? Check either under the vehicle if the spare doesn’t happen to be mounted on your tailgate. You will also need to grab your jack and tire iron.

Prepare to jack the car up. Before you start lifting the car, make sure it’s in “park” if you drive an automatic or in gear if you drive a manual and the emergency brake is set. You should only jack up a car if it’s on a flat surface. If you happen to have a brick or large, heavy object, place it in front of the tire opposite of the flat tire. For instance, if the front, left tire is flat, place the heavy object in from of the back, right tire.

Keep on preparing to jack the car up. Use the tire iron (that would be the L-shaped bar thingy) to loosen the wheel lugs of the flat. You can do this by turning the lugs clockwise. It’s going to take a lot of strength, so try channeling either Superman or the Hulk—it should help. Don’t remove the lugs yet though! Keep those on until your ready to remove the tire.

Jack the car up. Check out your owner’s manual for the car’s proper jacking points and place the jack underneath the car. Start to raise the jack until it contacts the car’s frame and continue expanding it until the flat tire is completely raised off the ground.

Remove the wheel lugs and the flat. This is when you finally get to remove the wheel lugs (we know you’ve been anxiously waiting to). Make sure you don’t lose those little rollers. Place them somewhere they won’t roll away. Pull the flat off of the wheel studs and marvel at your handy work so far.

Put the spare on. While it might seem like it’s easy, this is probably going to be the most physically challenging part of changing a tire—just consider it your workout for the day! Position the spare tire over the exposed wheel studs, lining up the holes in the wheel with the protruding studs located on the brake hub. If you’re having difficulty, try balancing the tire on your foot for extra balance.

Replace the wheel lugs. You definitely don’t want to forget to screw the wheel lugs back on. Start them by hand and make sure you don’t cross-thread them. Once each one is snug and you can’t tighten it by hand anymore, use the tire iron to finish the job. Make sure the wheel is fitting flush against the brake hub.

Lower the jack and finish tightening. Carefully lower your car from the jack, removing it when the car is entirely on the ground. This is the time you want to tighten your wheel lugs even more, once again channeling your favorite, super strong super hero.

Rejoice! Because not only are you done, but you’ve also managed to avoid an axe murderer set on revenge! Congrats!

Do you have any tips on how to change a flat tire?