As you head into the parking lot, you get excited about the thought of getting back home or going to your favorite place, so you get in your car quickly. While driving, though, you heard an abrupt and loud flapping noise that probably comes from one of your damaged tires. This time, you are left with two choices: a sluggish ride toward your destination, or a quick tire change beside the road.
Accidents and inconveniences can occur on the highway at any time. Getting a flat tire is not only among those unfortunate events but it’s also one of the most common accidents on the road. Based on one survey, there are about 200 million flat tires each year.
Several factors that contribute to a flat tire are a blowout caused by over inflation or under inflation, a puncture inflicted by a sharp object, tire and rim separation that resulted from a collision, too much wear and tear, and valve system damage.
If you think that your car is about to get a flat tire, turn on the vehicle’s emergency lights, look for a flat and safe place to pull over and change the tire, let off that gas pedal, maintain a firm grip on the steering wheel, and brake calmly.
Once you are parked in that area, get the following tools ready:
- Early warning device
- Jack for lifting vehicles
- Safety gloves
- Tire wrench
Refer to the steps below on changing a flat tire:
- Turn the car engine off.
- Pull the parking brake, change the transmission to first gear, or wedge a handful of rocks on the remaining tires. These measures prevent your car from moving or rolling away amid the tire change.
- Grab your spare tire from the trunk.
- If the tire change is taking place by or on the roadside, place an early warning device to let passersby know that you are currently working on your vehicle.
- Equip your safety gloves.
- Use your tire wrench to loosen the nuts of the tire in question, but do not remove those nuts completely. Turn the wrench in a counter-clockwise direction.
- Position the car jack beneath your vehicle. Raise your car until you reach a height of two inches more than the height of your spare tire.
- Make sure that the car jack is situated at the proper jacking point. The purpose of this careful jack placement is to carry the weight of your vehicle.
- Place your spare tire underneath your vehicle and beside your car jack. This spare tire positioning serves as a safety measure to prevent your car from falling on the ground if the jack fails.
- Remove the tire nuts this time.
- Pull out the flat tire carefully.
- Swap your flat tire with the spare one. Place the tire nuts afterward.
- Tighten the tire nuts in a cross pattern one step at a time. Applying this method ensures a balanced tightening of those nuts and prevents your wheel from falling off your car.
- Remove the car jack to put your vehicle back on the surface.
- If necessary, tighten the tire nuts again. Turn your tire wrench in a clockwise direction this time.
- Return all your devices, equipment, and tools to the trunk. Place the flat tire in that same compartment.
Now that you know all the procedures on how to change a flat tire, you will become confident and fully equipped for such a situation to arise. Although you might get dirty while swapping tires, you still have the edge of tackling this problem without relying too much on or getting assistance from others.