Discovering that you have a flat tire can be annoying, frustrating, and quite embarrassing; but overall it is generally a very stressful situation and overcoming it can be quite overwhelming. If you have not experienced a flat tire situation before you may feel some anxiety, but this is a common occurrence for many people and there is a process to complete in order to change the tire. By following the simple guide laid out in this article you will be able to change a tire easily should you be caught in that circumstance. Furthermore, this article will also provide information on how to prevent your tire becoming flat.
1. Pull over in a safe area
If you should realize that you are driving with one or more flat tires, it is important that you pull off the road to a safe location before locating tire shops. This may be the shoulder of the road or a designated area away from oncoming vehicles. It is vital that you are away from the moving vehicles so that you can change the tire safely. You should also aim for an area with a flat surface as changing a tire on an angled surface can present with different hazards, including the potential rolling of a spare tire. Always remember to turn on your hazard lights when moving over to a safe area as a way of showing other drivers that you are experiencing car difficulties.
2. Locate all the necessary equipment
Before changing the tire it is important you locate all the equipment required for the activity. This procedure will need a jack, a wrench and a spare tire. It is best to retrieve these items before changing the tire to ensure that you are prepared and will not need to locate equipment halfway through a tire change.
3. Loosen the lug nuts
Before loosening the lug nuts you will be required to remove the hubcap. Once the hubcap is off, use your wrench to loosen the lug nuts without removing them completely. If the lug nuts appear to be very tight, try placing the wrench on a lug nut and then pushing the wrench down with your full body weight.
4. Lifting the car
Next you must lift the car off the ground using a jack. All jacks are different; therefore it is vital that you consult the owner’s manual before using the item to ensure you are placing it in the correct position. Once set, jack the car up until the tire is approximately six inches above the ground.
5. Replacing the tire
In order to replace the tire, used tires or not, you will be required to remove the lug nuts completely. Take the lug nuts out and place them to one side as you remove the offensive tire. When you have replaced the tire with a new tire, replace the lug nuts tightly enough for the tire to remain in place.
6. Lower the car
Once putting the spare tire in place, lower the car down with the jack and remove the jack from its position. Finally, use the wrench to tighten the lug nuts completely securing the new tire into place. Replace the hubcap and you have now changed your tire.
How to prevent a flat tire
There are various methods of preventing the appearance of a flat tire, and some of these are listed below.
1. Rotate the tires regularly
It is important to rotate your tires on a regular basis. Traffic Safety Administration advises that this rotation should occur every 5,000 miles; however, it is dependent on your driving habits.
2. Avoid hazardous roadways
The main cause of flattened tires is driving over sharp objects. By avoiding hazardous roads and construction sites you will be preventing any chance of puncturing your tires. It is recommended that you stick to clear surfaces and remove any debris in your path if possible.
3. Check your tire pressure
As with tire rotation, checking tire pressure on a regular basis is highly recommended. Underinflated tires can cause friction between the tire and ground, thus leading to blowouts.
Final words on the matter
Managing a blown-out tire can be daunting; however, by following the steps in this article you can change your tire and prevent it from losing air pressure.