I recently went out of town to visit my family and on the way back, while driving on a busy Interstate I saw a car on the side of the road with a flat. The driver, a woman, was changing it. I really felt bad for her, but then realized she obviously knew how to change it. I on the other hand, am not sure if I would have been able to do so.
I know the basics of changing a flat but fortunately have never been in the situation of having to do it. So this got me to thinking, “if I had a flat would I be able to do it?” Well, I sure don’t want to wait until I am in such a situation to find out, so I did some research on how to change a flat tire. If you are a woman who has never changed a tire, this is for you.
Before talking about the steps of changing a flat there are a few things you need to keep in your car at all times. Make sure that you have a jack, a spare tire, a brick/stone or two and a tool kit (with a socket wrench in it). Also remember that most flats happen while driving so pull off the road in a place that is as flat as possible and remember to put it in PARK (in a manual transmission put it in reverse). I know that sounds obvious, but in the moment of panic it can be forgotten. It is also advised to place a brick or stone under the wheel of the opposite side (diagonal) of the flat to keep it from moving while changing the tire. Okay I think we are ready now:
- Jack up the car. Jacks will vary by type of car, but chances are your owner’s manual will give you instructions on how to use the one that came with your vehicle
- Remove the lug nuts with a socket wrench. Be sure to not lose the lug nuts!
- Take the wheel cover off.
- Remove the flat tire.
- Put the spare tire on.
- Replace wheel cover and tighten the lug nuts back on (tighten them as much as possible).
- Using the jack lower the wheel so that it just touches the ground.
- Place your tools and flat into your trunk.
It is not recommended to drive your car on a spare tire for long distances. So, once you are ready to safely pull back onto the road, you may want to head right home and/or make plans for dropping your car off for a new tire. If you are on vacation or on business, you will want to stop at the nearest garage either to have a new tire put on, or to have it repaired.
I hope you are never in the situation where you need to change a flat but if you are I hope you remember these steps. I might also suggest practicing changing a tire at home.
If you have a story about changing a flat tire, share it with us. Hope to hear from you! Enjoy Life!!!