How to Change a Tire
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Why wait to be “rescued” when you get a flat? You can get it done in a few minutes. It’s easier than you think!
Sometimes we CAN’T call for a rescue because not everywhere has good cell service.
Don’t be scared. YOU CAN DO IT!
First locate your tire jack. It should be somewhere in the rear or trunk of your vehicle along with the tire iron and/or tire iron/jack handle. Sometimes it’s the same thing.
Your tire jack probably looks like this one. It’s a scissor jack. Aptly named because a large “screw” or bolt moves the mechanism (looks kind of like the way scissors are put together at either end of the jack) to raise the jack and lift your vehicle off the ground.
Locate your SPARE TIRE or DONUT. Below is an illustration to show you the three most common places vehicle manufacturers place the “spare”
Remove the spare from it’s location. Sometimes you have to lower the spare from the under side of your vehicle using a screw type mechanism usually located in your trunk. If you are unsure of “how” to remove the spare from your vehicle CHECK YOUR OWNERS MANUAL and it will tell you.
WHY remove the spare tire first? Because you want to make sure you CAN remove it and that it is not flat before you take the time to jack up your vehicle. WATCH OUR OTHER VIDEOS ON EMERGENCY SUPPLIES TO KEEP IN YOUR VEHICLE. You might have a can of “fix a flat” you can use instead of changing your own tire!
Be sure your vehicle is parked on LEVEL GROUND before using the jack to lift your vehicle off the ground! This is so important for safety. When you jack up your vehicle it may become unstable and fall if the vehicle and jack are not on flat and solid ground. Don’t put a jack in muddy or loose ground as it may shift or sink causing the vehicle to fall.
Vehicles can still slip or fall off a jack so bear that in mind when you are working around a vehicle that has been lifted. Keep your body away from the underside of the vehicle.
Set the jack. Newer vehicles usually have an indicator arrow or icon on the body where you should place the center of your jack as shown below.
Using the tire iron or jack handle loosen the nuts on your flat tire. Lefty loosey, Righty tighty. If they seem “stuck” you can “stomp” on the jack handle a time or two or you can gradually increase pressure until the nuts begin to loosen. Keeping a can of WD-40 to spray on them is a good idea too.
Jack up your vehicle so the flat tire is suspended above the ground but NOT TOO MUCH. The space between the ground and the flat tire should be just enough to get your flat off and your spare on.
Remove the flat tire and put your spare in it’s place. This can be a tricky part because tires are heavy and you have to line up the bolts to the holes in the rim. TAKE YOUR TIME and my old trick is the take my extra blanket, sit on the ground and use the rest of the blanket to cover my lap so I don’t get dirty. Sitting on the ground can save your back and you can gain more leverage by using your legs too!
Screw the nuts on hand tight. If you can’t get it tight enough just using your hands you can use the tire iron but DO NOT ROCK YOUR VEHICLE WHEN IT IS OFF THE GROUND.
Lower your jack / vehicle.
Use the tire iron to finish tightening the nuts. Alternate nuts as shown below to help get the tire as tight as you can. Remember how tight they were when taking them off? They should be as tight as that.
YOU DID IT!
- Put your jack and the tire iron back where they were so you have them for the next time you get a flat.
- Put your flat in the rear, trunk or bed of your vehicle
- Get going!