How to Change a TireBy: Drew Moser
Tire MaintenancePreventative maintenance is the first step in safety!Make sure to walk around your vehicle before driving. Check the tire pressureEnsure the tread is not bareLook for nails, screws, or any possible damage existing in tireIts easier to change a tire at home than on the side of the highway!
When a Tire ExplodesIf you happen to be driving when a tire goes flat remain calm. Ease off the accelerator and move off the road. Panic may cause an accident!
Find a Safe LocationOnce your vehicle is safely off the road, the next step is to raise the automobile. Ensure the vehicle is not on a slope. A flat surface is necessary.Make sure the car is in park (P), or in gear if it is a manual transmission.It is also a good idea to block the wheel diagonal to the flat by placing a brick or piece of wood in front of the tire.
Loosen the Lug Nuts
Loosen the Lug NutsBefore raising the vehicle, use the tire iron, the L-shaped bar, to loosen the lug nuts from the flat wheel. The lug nuts are designed to stay on the tire, use leverage to ease the work.Remember to turn the nuts counter-clockwise! Once all lug nuts are loose, its time to raise the automobile
Raising the VehicleA jack is usually located in the trunk of the car. You may need to check your manual if it is located elsewhere.The spare tire should also be located in the trunk of your vehicle.Check the vehicle for a solid, secure place to put the jack. Many cars have predetermined locations for jacking the car up.
Remove the Damaged Tire
Remove the Damaged TireUsing the jack, raise the vehicle until the flat tire is completely off the ground. Remove the lug nuts and keep them together, a hubcap is a good place to keep them so the nuts dont get lost. Slide the flat tire off the vehicle and place it flat on the ground so it doesnt roll into traffic.
Place the Spare on the Vehicle
Place the Spare on the VehicleLift the spare tire and line up the holes in the wheel with the protruding wheel studs.Once the tire is lined up, gently slide it as far back as possible. Screw each of the lug nuts back onto the wheel studs. Tighten the lugs by hand before lowering the wheel.Make sure not to cross-thread the nuts!
Lower the Jack
Almost FinishedWhen all lug nuts have been hand tightened, carefully lower the jack.Tighten the lug nuts with the tire iron. The ground should help give leverage, ensure the lug nuts are extremely tight. Put the flat tire back in the trunk (You will need the rim when you replace the tire).Drive safe!
ReferencesAll images except slide 3 were found on: www.ehow.com/how_2048705_change-flat-tire.htmlSlide 3 found on: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Flat_tire.jpg
Its probably happened to you! If it hasnt, then youve probably spent some time worrying about when it will happen! Youre driving on the interstate, concerned with what you might have for lunch that day, or how much homework your teacher might assign, when BAM! Your tire explodes. Do you know what to do when faced with an event such as this? The first thing a person can do to ensure they do not have a tire blowout at 60 miles per hour, is preventative maintenance. This wont guarantee that you can avoid a flat tire, but it will reduce the chances drastically. Before starting your vehicle make sure to check all four tires to ensure that tires dont have any visible damage such as worn tread or potentially dangerous sharp pointy objects clinging to the tire. Its also a good idea to check the tire pressure regularly. A tire gage is relatively easy to use and costs as little as a dollar at most auto stores. If a tire does explode or lose pressure while you are driving it is important that you remain calm. Panic may cause an accident and injure yourself or others. Take your foot off the accelerator and reduce speed quickly but not suddenly. Coast the vehicle off the road and out of the way of traffic. Now that you have come to a complete stop and are safely away from traffic, ensure that the automobile is on level ground. This is necessary when it comes time to raise the vehicle and remove the tire. Make sure that the car is in park and that the emergency brake is engaged. Its also a good idea to block the wheel diagonal to the flat tire to ensure the car does not roll or move. In the trunk of your vehicle there is should be a tire iron, a spare tire, and a jack. Some vehicles store these items under the vehicle rather than in the trunk. After you have located these materials you will take the L shaped tire iron and start loosening the bolts, known as lug nuts. This should be done while the tire is still on the ground to reduce the amount of force necessary to loosen the nuts. All lug nuts should be loosened to the point that they could be removed by hand. Check the sides and back of the vehicle for a smooth solid surface where the jack may be placed. Many vehicles have pre-determined locations for placing the jack. Remember what every point of the car that meets the jack will have over a ton of pressure on that point, so make sure it is sturdy. Many jacks have a crank style to lift the vehicle, others twist to raise or lower the vehicle. Use your jack to raise the corner of the car with the flat. Remove the loose lug nuts and place them to the side. A hubcap works well for keeping the nuts clean and in one place. Grab a hold of the tire and slide it off the wheel posts. After youve set the flat tire on the ground, lift the spare tire and line the holes in the wheel with the wheel posts. Slide the tire as far back as it will go and screw the lug nuts on by hand. Make sure the nuts are not cross-threaded as this can break the nut or damage the post. Once youve tightened the nuts by hand you can safely lower the jack and place it back in storage. The flat tire should also be saved and placed where the spare tire was on your vehicle. Now you can tighten the lug nuts. Tighten each nut a little at a time, if one nut is tightened all the way while the other nuts are loose, you wont be able to tighten the other nuts! Once all the nuts are as tight as possible, place the tire iron in its proper location. Congratulations! Youve just changed a tire! Proceed with caution when re-entering a busy road and drive safe!