If you have gone your entire life without changing a tire, consider yourself lucky. However, if you are like most of us, this nuisance of this task has crossed your path at least one time. Here are few easy steps to help eliminate the stress of changing a tire:
Step 1 – Gather the tools you’ll need. If your car came with a spare tire, most car manufactures will also place the essential tools you will need to change that tire next to it under the trunk floor. Upon lifting the flooring, you should find a spare tire, diamond jack, and tire iron.
Step 2 – Loosen lug nuts. The lug nuts holding the wheel to the hub will need to be loosened before you beginning using the diamond jack to lift the car. Use the tire iron and some elbow grease to loosen the lug nuts. Be careful not to round off the edges with all that force or you won’t be able to get them off yourself. Do not remove the lug nuts all the way, just to the point where you will be able to use your hands to unscrew them the rest of the way.
Step 3 – Crank the car up. Now it’s time to use the jack. The jack needs to be located under the vehicle so that it pushed up on the frame in order to raise the car correctly. Typically car frames will have a notch next to each tire where the top of the jack will fit. After placing the jack under this slot, twist the lever to start opening the jack and the car should start rising.
Step 4 – Welcome new tire. Use your hands to unscrew the lug nuts the rest of the way. Remove the flat tire by pulling it straight off and make the new tire match up with the holes on the rim with the bolts on the car. Lift the spare tire up and hold it in place as you tighten the lug nuts by hand. When the lug nuts are as tight as you can get them by hand, lower the car slowly with the jack.
Step 5 – Tighten lug nuts. When the car is safely back on level ground, finish tightening the lug nuts with the tire iron. Be sure to tighten lug nuts in a diagonal pattern (ie: after tightening the first one, go to the lug nut diagonally across from it).
To help you feel more comfortable, there is no harm in practicing these steps in the safety of your driveway before you actually have to use them on the road. Practice makes perfect and in doing so you’ll have the confidence you need to change your own tire the next time it is necessary.