Essential Vehicle Tips: How to Change a Flat Tire

Essential Vehicle Tips: How to Change a Flat Tire

Along with changing your vehicle’s oil, knowing how to change a flat tire is one of the simplest and most essential skills for drivers to learn. Since a roadside emergency can happen at any time and cell phone service is not always available, knowing how to change a flat can help save you from a considerable amount of trouble. Fortunately, since flats are fairly common, car manufacturers have attempted to make the tire-changing process one that most people can do without much hassle.

If you should ever have to change a flat tire, be sure to adhere to the following steps:

  1. Gather materials: To change a tire, you will need a lug wrench, a jack, a spare tire, and your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Your vehicle should have come all of these materials.
  2. Find a safe spot: Once you know you have a flat, put your hazard lights on, slowly reduce your speed, and search for a level, straight patch of road to change your tire. Ideal locations include a quiet side street, the shoulder of a highway off ramp, or a parking lot. Once stopped, apply the parking brake.
  3. Remove the hubcap or wheel cover: If your vehicle has exposed lug nuts, you may skip this step. If not, use the flat end of the lug wrench to pry the cover off.
  4. Loosen the lug nuts: Loosen the lug nuts about ¼ to ½ of a turn using the lug wrench, but do not remove them. You may need to use your foot or body weight if necessary to break the resistance.
  5. Put the jack under the vehicle: The right place for the jack is typically under the vehicle frame alongside the flat tire. Some vehicles have specified areas with exposed metal specifically for this purpose. Once in place, raise the vehicle until the flat tire is about 6 inches off the ground.
  6. Remove the lug nuts: Now that the tire is in the air, remove the lug nuts by hand and pull the tire off the hub. Set it to the side so it does not roll away.
  7. Mount the spare: Take the spare tire and mount it on the rim with the lug bolts until the bolts show through the rim. Place the lug nuts back on the bolts and tighten them by hand.
  8. Lower the vehicle: Using the jack, bring the vehicle back down until the spare touches the ground. Remove the jack and use the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts again. To ensure even alignment, tighten your lug nuts in a star pattern so you are not tightening lug nuts that are immediately next to one another.
  9. Replace the hubcap or wheel cover: Again, you may skip this step if you do not have one.
  10. Check tire pressure: If you do not have a tire gauge, drive to the nearest gas station to check and make sure your spare is at the correct PSI.

Looking to Upgrade Your Vehicle?

At HP Motor Sports, our Houston high performance auto specialists do far more than just mere oil changes and tire replacements. If you live in Texas and are looking to improve your ride in any way, shape, or form, our team of skilled technicians can provide the top-quality workmanship and service you need to unleash your car’s full potential. From custom fabrication to dyno tuning and flood repair, no job is too small or too complicated for us to handle.

Contact us online or call (281) 231-9950 today for a free estimate .
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