How to Change a Tire

October 11th, 2014 by

Shopping at Cincinnati used car dealers can help you get a great deal and a great car. But it can’t protect you from everything you are bound to experience on the road. Taking the right driving precautions and ensuring that you get the right maintenance to keep your car in top shape are up to you. Yet even those measures can’t always protect you from one of the most common driving ailments: The flat tire.

Learning how to change your own flat tires can save you a lot of money on tow trucks and roadside assistance programs. If you have a spare, you can change your tire and be on your way. If you are using a donut, you can drive to the nearest service station and get a new tire.

Step one is learning how to change the tire. If you’ve never learned this essential skill, here’s what you need to do:

Secure the Area

There are far too many reports of people being killed while they were changing a tire

on the side of the road. It is extremely important that you make sure you take the proper safety precautions before you start to do anything else. If you are on the highway, pull off on an exit if one is close. If you are on a road, pull as far off the road as you safely can.

Find as flat a place as possible to park the car. Once you start jacking up the car, any incline could cause your car to tip.

Remove the Tire

Loosen all the lug nuts before you lift the car with the jack. Use a tire iron to loosen them by turning them to the left. You can stand on or kick the tire iron if the lug nuts are too tight to loosen with just your arm strength.

Once the lug nuts are loosened but not removed, you should lift the car up with a jack. Place the jack directly under a part of the frame. If you aren’t sure where this will be, check your car’s manual. Make sure you raise the car enough so the bottom of the tire is several inches off the ground. The goal is to be able to remove the tire easily. If you can’t, you’ll need to lift the car higher.

Replace the Tire

Remove the loosened lug nuts then the tire. Put the spare or donut in place, and make sure it is all the way against the wheel base. Put the lug nuts back on, and begin to tighten them by hand. When they and the tire are secure, lower the car and remove the jack.

To tighten the lug nuts with the tire iron, you will tighten one about half way then tighten the lug nut directly opposite it about half way. Move around the circle tightening each lug nut and its opposite in pairs. You will eventually begin to overlap. Continue doing this until all the lugnuts are as tight as they can be.

And that’s it.

You can help prevent the likelihood of flat tires by inspecting all your tires before you head out on a long trip. While there’s never any guarantee, it can help you minimize the risk.

Of course, if your flat is more than just a flat, you can always bring your car to get serviced at one of the many Cincinnati used car dealers that also perform maintenance and repairs.