If you have ever wondered how to change a flat tire, the first thing you should understand is that it is not a pleasant experience at all. When your tires lose air pressure on the road and that trusty ole spare has to be put on, there are several important steps that must be followed in order to do the job right. While it is not an enjoyable experience to change your tire, rest assured that it only takes a few minutes once you know what you are doing. The process involves a few simple steps, and while you will probably get dirty, that is certainly preferable to not making it home in time for dinner.
Jack the car up
This is the first step in how to change a flat tire. You should locate the spare first and then bust out your car jack. Both items are typically located in the back of your car, although some spare tires can be located underneath the rear-end of your vehicle. If it is inside, it will be underneath the floor mat in your trunk. You should be able to lift it up and see the spare tire and jack waiting to be used. Once you have located these items, it is time to jack the car up.
Make sure that the car is parked on a flat surface and look underneath the body for a small groove. This groove is where you should place the jack, as this part of your car has extra reinforcement to withstand the weight of being lifted. A good idea also would be to block the tires on the other side of your car with a piece of wood just to be on the safe side. Before actually jacking the car up, take your tire iron and loosen each wheel lug. This will make it easier once the car is off of the ground. You will have to use force. Now place the jack underneath the car where the jack-points are and raise the jack. This method will vary depending on whether or not you have a cheaper screw-type jack or a modern hydraulic one.
Remove the flat tire and put on the spare
Now that the car is jacked up, go ahead and move on to the third step of how to change a flat tire. Remove the wheel lugs completely. You can probably do this with your bare hands if they feel loose enough. If not, you will need to use the tire iron to get them off. After they are removed, it is safe to slide the flat tire off of the wheel studs. Once this process is completed, it is time to get the spare tire one. This will be a little tougher than getting the old tire off because you will need to make sure to hold the tire steady with one hand while getting the wheel lugs back on with the other.
When putting the lugs back on by hand, you need to be careful to not cross-thread any of them. They should screw back on relatively easy. After they are holding the tire safely and securely in place, use the jack to lower the car back down to the ground. Once it is resting firmly on all four tires again, you may use your tire iron to tighten the wheel lugs. Make sure to use lots of pressure and get them tight, but don’t over-do it. You don’t want to strip the wheel studs.
After completion of these steps, you should be back on the road and worry-free.