Flat Tire – Now What?

 change flat tire

Every driver should know how to change a tire. To learn how to do so, start by practicing in a safe and supervised situation with the following steps.


If possible, pull off the traveled portion of the roadway. Turn on the hazard lights and use warning devices, such as triangles. Once your car is on a level area away from traffic, put the gearshift in park (or reverse for a stick-shift vehicle) and set the parking brake.


Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for proper wheel chocking, use of jack, and tire replacement. Then, proceed to take out the spare tire, jack, lug wrench, and wheel chocks. At this time, you should have any passengers get out of the car and move to a safe place away from the roadway.


Block the wheel that’s diagonally opposite the flat tire with two wheel chocks. Place one in front of the wheel and the other firmly behind it. This will prevent the vehicle from rolling once it’s raised up by the jack.


Assemble the jack and position it under the vehicle. Jack up the vehicle partway so that the flat tire still touches the ground and can’t turn. Then, loosen the lug nuts (the devices that hold the wheel to the car) using the lug wrench.


Jack up the vehicle until the tire completely clears the ground. Remove the lug nuts so you can remove the wheel with the flat tire. Once the flat tire is out of the way, mount the wheel with the spare tire and rock it gently into position. Then, replace and tighten the lug nuts.


Lastly, lower the vehicle slowly and remove the jack. Tighten the lug nuts once more before putting all your tire changing equipment back into the trunk.  


Remember to replace or repair the flat tire as soon as possible! If your spare tire is a temporary or compact spare, drive on it only as necessary.

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