How to Change a Flat Tire

There are few things worse than getting all ready for a day at the office or a night on the town and walking outside to find a flat. Fortunately, even if you aren’t overly knowledgeable about motor vehicles this is a problem that can be remedied fairly quickly and easily

Get to a Flat Surface

If your car is in your driveway and your driveway is flat, no need to move at all – if your flat occurs out on the road you need to find a flat surface that is safe (preferably as far away from moving vehicles as possible.

Get Your Tools

Everything you need to change your flat should be in the trunk of your car – a small jack, a lug wrench and your spare tire. Take the hub cap off the flat and begin loosening the lug nuts while your car is still on the ground (if you jack it up first the tire will spin while you are trying to get them off), but don’t take them off all the way. Find the appropriate place for your jack (there could be multiple points depending upon your make and model, take a look inside your car’s manual or see if there is a guide along with the tools) and get that tire up off the ground. You’ll need enough clearance to get the inflated spare onto the car, about five to six inches should be enough.

Finish removing the lug nuts, get the flat tire off and replace it with the spare pushing it on as far as it will go. Screw the lug nuts back onto their posts but just until they are hand tight (you don’t want to apply an excessive amount of pressure onto a car that is up on a jack). Lower the car back down and securely tighten all the nuts in a start pattern (as opposed to clockwise or counter clockwise).

Put your tools and the flat in your trunk, wash up and get on your way. If you are driving on a spare that isn’t full size, get to an auto shop to have your tire patched or to get a new full size tire as soon as you can to make sure future rides are as safe as possible.

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Jeff Wilson

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