It’s happened to the best of us… your tire is flat to the rim and you’re miles from a service station. It looks like you need to change it yourself. If you’ve never changed a tire before, don’t worry, it’s a lot less complicated than it seems. Here are some simple steps to follow to help you change that flat tire.
First things first – gather the right tools for the job! Without the right equipment, it may be impossible to change your flat tire, so make sure you keep an emergency tire kit in your trunk.
Any tire changing kit is incomplete without the three tire-changing basics: a car jack, lug wrench, and spare tire. After that, it’s best to include other handy tools and equipment that will make the tire changing easier and more comfortable. Some suggested extras include a flashlight (with extra batteries), a tarp or mat to kneel on, a rain poncho, traffic cones, a tire gauge, and tire blocks.
Now that you have that all ready, let’s get started with these 5 simple steps:
1. Pull Over Somewhere Safe
Accidents happen, so it’s important to minimize your chances of experiencing another automobile collision after you’ve blown a tire. Be sure to get well into the shoulder away from any merge lanes, or take an exit to a safer spot. Make sure vehicles can see you from a long ways away and, if you have them, set up some cones to mark off your car. Throw on your hazard lights as well for extra protection.
2. Loosen the Lug Nuts
The first thing to do is grab your trusty wrench and loosen all the lug nuts on the tire in question. You may have to remove the hubcap as well.
3. Jack Up Your Car
With the lug nuts loosened, you’ll need to jack up your car to replace the tire. Your car probably came with a jack, so now’s a good time to consult your owner’s manual on the ideal placement and use of your car’s jack.
4. Remove Lug Nuts
Once the jack is secure, finish taking off the lug nuts and remove the car tire. Be sure to pull the tire straight off from its base.
5. Put on the Spare Tire
You essentially do everything else in reverse: put the spare tire onto the tire base, put on the lug nuts, lower the car, tighten the lug nuts completely, and pack everything away. You did it!
Changing a tire can be really easy if you have the right equipment and tools, and with the right knowhow you can be on the road in a jiffy. For the more complex issues that can happen to your vehicle, you’ll need the help of a professional insurance company. At Sadler Insurance, we can help you get the coverage you need for all your driving, and at competitive rates that will help you when the time comes to buy a new set of tires.