How to Change a Flat Tire

May 21st, 2018 by

Car parked on a roadway with a flat tire
When you know how to change a flat tire, you can skip calling a tow truck and quickly get your vehicle to a service center. Once you have the proper tools and a firm understanding on how to perform this repair, you’ll be back on the Cicero road in no time.

Tools You Need

Having the following items in your car will prepare you in the event of a flat:

  • Lug Wrench
  • Jack
  • Owner’s Manual
  • Fully Inflated Spare Tire

It’s important to check your spare regularly to ensure it is inflated to your manufacturer’s recommended PSI. These additional tools are also helpful to have handy, especially if you find yourself on the side of the road at night:

  • Flashlight
  • Rain Poncho
  • 2″x6″ Wood to Secure the Jack
  • Gloves
  • Wheel Wedges

red warning triangle behind vehicle with a flat tire

Mechanic changing a tire

Steps for Tire Repair

Follow these steps to repair your flat tire:

  • Find a safe location to park your vehicle, preferably a level stretch of road with a wide shoulder.
  • Turn on your hazard lights to alert others to your situation.
  • Set the parking brake to prevent rolling, even when on level ground.
  • Insert the wheel wedges for stability, either in front of the front tires if you’re changing a rear tire, or behind the rear tires when you’re changing at the front.
  • Place the jack beneath the frame. Look for a section of exposed metal, and follow the instructions in your owner’s manual.
  • Set a small cut of 2×6” wood beneath the jack to prevent it settling, then start to lift. Never place any part of your body under the vehicle.
  • Unscrew the lug nuts. They are easy to unscrew by hand once loose.
  • Grip the tire treads and pull gently towards you to remove the flat. Set it on its side to prevent rolling.
  • Mount the spare on the lug nuts, then tighten them by hand until they are all on.
  • Lower the vehicle slightly and tighten the lug nuts with a wrench.
  • Bring the vehicle to the ground.
  • Replace the hubcap. If it does not fit, stow it with your flat.
  • Check the pressure of the spare to make sure it’s safe to drive on. Remember, spares are meant to be temporary and shouldn’t be driven on at high speeds.
  • Drive to a service center.
Mechanic Changing Tire In Garage
stack of tires

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