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Changing a Tire: For Dummies

This is the first step to becoming an adult: changing your own tire. To some, this may seem an easy obstacle to overcome, but let’s just run through the steps anyway. You know, as a refresher.

Changing a tire is an important skill to have. If one is ever in an accident where a person’s tire is blown, this skill could help get them out of a predicament. Whether you find yourself in a rush with a flat tire, or in a deserted area far from a professional, you need to be prepared to deal with a flat tire on your own. The end result of knowing how to change a tire is getting to own the feeling that you can do what over sixty percent of Americans can not do, and a new tire. In order to understand how changing a tire works, we can divide it into the following steps: jacking up the car, taking the old tire out, and placing the new tire in.

When a car is first purchased it should come with a jack, lug wrench, and a new tire. Some necessities that will not come with the car are wheel wedges and a piece of wood to secure the jack. When one figures out they have a flat, they should find a safe place to pull over and turn on the hazard lights. Make sure the car’s gear is in park. Now it is time to put the wheel wedges in front of or behind the tire. Place them in front of the the flat is in the back, and in the back if the flat is in the front. It is easier to loosen the lug nuts before jacking up the car, so take the lug wrench and connect it to the lug nuts and turn counter clockwise. It will take a lot of effort, so use all of your body weight and turn it so that they are loose, but not all the way off. Before placing the jack underneath the car, put the piece of wood beneath it first. Now, jack up the tire about six inches off of the ground. Now that the car is raised, it is time to take off the tire.

Since the lug nuts are already loosened, go ahead and take them all the way out. This can be done by hand now. Then grip the tire by the threads with your hands, and pull it gently towards you. Once the tire is removed you will be able to see the hub that was behind it. Now place the tire on its side so it does not roll away. Because the old tire is off, the new one can now be placed on.

With the new tire in hand, line the rim with the lug bolts and begin to place it on the lug bolts. Push it back slowly until the lug bolts show through the rim. In order to secure the new tire in place, the lug nuts have to placed back on the tire. Screw them in by hand until there is too much resistance. Then lower the vehicle back down so that the new tire is resting just against the ground but not with its full weight. Once that is complete, tighten the lug nuts again with the lug wrench, turning it clockwise with your full weight. Now lower the tire completely, and replace the hubcap if it will fit on the new tire. If not, place it in the trunk with the rest of your supplies.

Since the new spare is in place, it is important to remember that it is not meant for a long term replacement. Once back on the road, go to the nearest mechanic to check the damage of the old tire. It may need replaced or it might be able to be fixed. This is a crucial skill to learn to keep one’s self out of harm’s way. One may want to practice in a garage or empty parking lot to master this skill. To keep the tires in check, it is important to check the air pressure regularly, and to have them checked too.

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Changing a Tire: For Dummies
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