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Flat tires always seem to happen when you least expect it. Will you be prepared? Having the right supplies stored in your car and knowing how to properly change a tire can make the difference between a smooth tire change and a frustrating experience. Click here to find out what you need to know to prepare for a sudden flat tire!

Click here to find out what you need to know to prepare for a sudden flat tire!

Let’s face it. Nobody wants to be stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire. Flat tires always seem to happen at the most inopportune moments! Many people prefer to have a tire professional change their flat, but there may be a time where you must do it yourself. By keeping the right supplies stored in your vehicle you can help prepare for the unexpected. Follow along as these steps guide you through changing your flat tire.

Store Your Tools

The first step is to gather the tools you’ll need to change a tire. These items should be kept in your car at all times. Some of these probably came with your car, others you’ll need to purchase yourself. Planning ahead will help prepare you for the unexpected. • Lug wrench • Jack • Fully inflated spare tire • Car manual • Flashlight • Mechanics gloves • Wheel chocks • Safety triangles

Find a Safe Place to Park

Your safety is a priority, so be sure to find a location that will not put you at risk. Straightaways are best and allow other drivers to see you from a distance. Level, stable ground will help prevent your jack from sinking or your car from rolling. Allow yourself plenty of room, preferably with a wide shoulder to widen the distance between you and moving traffic. It isn’t always possible to find the perfect place, but it is worth it to drive slowly and carefully until you find the safest place.

Stay Safe

Once you’ve found your safe zone, you can prepare to change your tire safely by warning other drivers of your presence. Turn on your hazards. Use your parking brake. Carefully set out your safety triangles. Then, once you’ve increased your visibility, apply the wheel chocks as another precaution to keep your car from rolling.

Change Your Flat

If your car has a hubcap covering the lug nuts, remove it first. You may need to look at your owner’s manual for removal tips. Next you’ll want to loosen the lug nuts. This is achieved by using your lug wrench and turning each lug nut just enough to loosen, which is usually about ¼-½ of a turn. The next step is to place the jack under your vehicle. Some cars have a specific spot for a jack while others do not. You may want to consult with your owner’s manual for specific lifting locations to help avoid unintentional damage. Once positioned correctly, raise the vehicle so that the flat tire is positioned about 6-inches above the ground. Next, remove the lug nuts all of the way. Now you’ll want to remove the flat tire. Pull the wheel off and set it aside. Begin to install the spare tire by lining up the wheel bolts. Place the lug nuts back on and tighten them by hand. Do not tighten completely until you’ve lowered your vehicle.

Lower Your Car

Using your jack, carefully lower your vehicle to the ground. Remove the jack. Now is the time to securely tighten each lug nut. Rather than tighten clock or counter-clockwise, it is important to tighten in a cross order or star pattern. You may need to use the full weight of your body when turning the wrench to ensure the lug nuts are as tight as possible. Replace the hubcap, if necessary, and store all tools for any future flat tire predicaments. Changing a flat tire doesn’t have to be intimidating. With the right supplies and a safe location, you can usually have it switched out within a half-hour. For any other info on flat tires or tires in general, contact us today!

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