There are a few things every driver should know and how to change a tire is on top of our list
The long winter months have us dreaming of spring, but with snow melting and warmer days ahead also comes the dreaded seasonal tire change. If you’re like us and you often forget to book your appointment at the garage ahead of time, you can either get in line and wait for your turn or you can pick up that wrench and learn to do it yourself.
What you’ll need:
Bonus items we recommend you store in the trunk: rain poncho, neon emergency vest, gloves, and a flashlight (preferably the headband kind).
How to change your tire in 5 easy steps :
1- Find a safe location
If you’re on the road and get a flat, do not panic! Don’t brake suddenly; instead, drive slowly to a secure location and put your hazard lights and parking brake on. Be careful when you get out, and make sure to put out your triangle reflectors.
If you’re in your garage or driveway, make sure to find a flat, stable location.
Don’t forget to secure the wheels with wheel chocks or wooden blocks.
2- Loosen the lug nuts
Most people forget to do this part before lifting the vehicle. Lug nuts are the small fasteners that secure the wheel onto the car, and they are usually pretty tightly screwed on, so using your hands won’t do. Use your trusty tire iron to loosen the lug nuts about ¼ to ½ of a turn, but don’t remove them completely yet. And when in doubt: righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.
3 - Raise the vehicle
Place the jack under the metal portion of your vehicle’s frame, near the tire that you will change. *Some cars have a designated spot where to place the jack. Read your owner’s manual if you’re not sure where that is.
Place the jack firmly in place until it supports (but not lifts) your car.
Turn the lever clockwise and raise the car about six inches off the ground.
4- Place the spare tire on the car
Once the car has been raised, remove the loosened lug nuts by turning them clockwise until they are off. Keep them safe and nearby.
The tire might be hard to take off due to rust; grip it firmly, and pull it off towards your body. Be prepared to support the weight of it.
Align the spare tire on the lug bolts, place it on the hub and push it into place. *Make sure to place the spare tire correctly and not backwards.
Tighten the nuts by hand until they’re nice and snug, then screw them on the rest of the way using the wrench.
5- Lower the vehicle
Carefully lower your car to the ground without applying too much weight to the tire and tighten the nuts as much as possible.
Continue to lower the car to the ground.
Remove the jack, finish tightening the nuts and replace the hubcap.
And voila, tire changed! If your spare is temporary, make sure you change it for a full one as soon as possible. Have a safe drive!
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