Introduction: How to Fix Common Car Problems: Jump Start, Changing a Flat Tire, and Using Fix-A-Flat.

Car need a jump? Flat Tire? If you answered yes to either of those two questions you are in the right place.  I created this tutorial on how to get your car up and running again. 

In this tutorial:

Part One: How to Jump Start a Car.
Part Two: How to Change a Flat Tire
Part Three: How to Use Fix-a-Flat

**NOTE** The steps are labeled confusingly. If the title is "Step 11: Steps 13&14:..." then it is step 13 and 14 for that part of the tutorial. Sorry for the inconvenience. 

Step 1: Part One: How to Jump Start a Car.

This part of the tutorial is directed at jump starting your car. You might want to wear rubber gloves because you may get dirty, but they are not necessary.

Things Needed:

1. Non-Working car
2. Working car
3. Jumper Cables

Step 2: Step 1: Find Another Car.

Step 1: Get another car(Yellow Truck) and some jumper cables and park working car next to or in front of non-working(Gray Car) car.

Step 3: Step 2: Pop the Hoods.

Step 2: Pop the hood on both cars. For information on how to pop your hood, check the owner's manual.

Step 4: Steps 3 & 4: Locate the Battery.

Step 3: Locate the battery of the non-working car(Gray Car). (Check owner’s manual for exact location)

Step 4: Find the positive(Red Cap) and negative(No Cap) terminals on the non-working car’s battery.  Always start with the non-working car’s battery because it is likely to have little to no charge on it.

Step 5: Step 5: Hook Up First Cable.

Step 5: Connect the red/yellow jumper cable clamp to the positive terminal(Red Cap) of the non-working car’s battery. DON’T connect the black cable to the negative terminal on the non-working car yet.

Step 6: Step 6: Locate the Other Battery.

Step 6: Locate the battery of the working car(Yellow Truck). (Make sure key is not in the ignition)

Step 7: Steps 7, 8, and 9: Connect the Cables to the Working Battery.

Step 7: Find the positive(Red Cap) and negative(No Cap) terminal on the working car’s battery(Yellow Truck). Again, make sure the car is not running and no power is going to the car.

Step 8: Connect the red/yellow jumper cable to the positive terminal(Red Cap) on the working car’s battery.

Step 9: Connect the black jumper cable to the negative terminal(No Cap) of the working car’s battery.

Step 8: Step 10: Connect the Last Cable.

Step 10: Connect the black cable to the negative terminal(No Cap) of the non-working(Gray Car) car's dead battery. Be careful not to touch the non-connected end of the jumper cables together, they will spark.

Step 9: Step 11: Start the Working Car.

Step 11: Start the working car.

Step 10: Step 12: Start the Non-Working Car.

Step 12: Try starting the non-working car.  When it starts, LEAVE it running.  Do not shut off the engine because your battery is getting charged.

Step 11: Steps 13 & 14: Disconnect the Cables.

Step 13: Shut off the working car (Yellow Truck) and disconnect the cables in reverse order from the working car (negative first then positive).  Again, make sure the positive and negative cables don’t touch because they will spark.

Step 14: Keep non-working car (Gray Car) running and disconnect the cables in reverse order from the non-working car’s battery (negative first then positive).

Step 12: Step 15: Finishing Up

Step 15: Close both cars’ hoods and pack up jumper cables.  Keep the non-working car running for a lengthy time (30-40minutes). Don’t shut off the engine unless you are at a place where you can get your car fixed because it is likely your car will need a jump again if you shut it off.

Step 13: Part Two: Changing a Flat Tire.

This is the part of the tutorial that is directed at changing a flat tire.

Things Needed:

1. Tire Iron
2. Spare Tire
3. Jack
4. Flat Tire

***NOTE***If the tire has a nail or small puncture try using Fix-a-Flat.

Step 14: Step 1: Park Car.

Step 1: Make sure the car is parked on a flat area and that you have enough room to complete the tire change.

Step 15: Step 2: Locate Materials.

Step 2: Locate the spare tire, jack, and tire iron. This is usually in the trunk of the vehicle, but double check your car manual.  Above picture shows Jack (Top left), Spare Tire(Center), and Tire Iron(Top Right).

Step 16: Step 3: Loosen Lug Nuts

Step 3: Take your tire iron and loosen the lug nuts about 2 turns on the flat tire by turning them counter clockwise or left.  DO NOT take the lug nuts completely off of the tire.

Step 17: Steps 4 & 5: Jack Up Car.

Step 4: Place your jack under the frame of the vehicle by the flat tire.  Other places may be used, refer to your owner’s manual for other locations to place the jack.

Step 5: Slowly jack the vehicle off the ground.  Do this until the tire is completely off of the ground. 

CAUTION: DO NOT rock or shake the vehicle when it is jacked up because it is in a very unstable position.

Step 18: Step 6: Take Lug Nuts of Completely.

Step 6: Take off the lug nuts, one at a time, with your hand or with the tire iron and place them in your pocket or a safe place where you won’t lose them.

Step 19: Steps 7 & 8: Remove Flat Tire and Replace With Spare.

Step 7: Carefully take the flat tire off of the vehicle and set it to the side.  The flat tire can be heavy, remember to life with your knees and not your back.

Step 8: Place the spare tire on the vehicle, taking the place of the flat tire.

Step 20: Steps 9 & 10: Secure Lug Nuts.

Step 9: Screw the lug nuts, one at a time by hand, back on the vehicle securing the spare tire. 

Step 10: Completely tighten the lug nuts in order, per diagram.

Step 21: Step 11: Lower Car.

Step 11: Slowly lower the vehicle to the ground and completely lower the jack.

Step 22: Step 12: Finish Up.

Step 12: Place tire iron, jack, and flat tire back to their original place.  The flat tire might not fit in the space that the spare tire was in.  If not, place the flat tire in the trunk of the vehicle.

Step 23: Part Three: Using Fix-a-Flat.

This part of the tutorial is directed towards using Fix-a-Flat.

Things Needed:

1. Tire with small puncture
2. Can of Fix-a-Flat

*All pictures were taken from Fixaflat.com  

Step 24: Step 1 & 2: Park Car on Level Land.

Step 1:  Move vehicle to a flat area that is away from traffic and has room to complete the steps safely.


Step 2:  Make sure you park the vehicle where the nail or item causing the flat is on the bottom of the tire or in the 6 o’clock position.

Step 25: Steps 3 & 4: Connect Can to Tire and Inflate.

Step 3: Connect the can of Fix-a Flat or Similar to the tire through the valve stem.

Step 4: Push the button on top of the can to release the contents of the can into the tire until it is fully inflated.  This may take from a few seconds to a minute.

Step 26: Steps 5 & 6: Disconnect Can and Go to Repair Shop.

Step 5: Disconnect the can of Fix-a-Flat or similar from the tire.

Step 6: Drive to a repair shop to replace or fix tire.


Comments

author
graydog111 made it!(author)2015-06-19

Very thorough instructable. Glad to see you showed lug nut tightening sequence. A wheel can be warped by not doing them that way.

author
artemff made it!(author)2013-11-20

I have a comment to this step. Everything was fine up to now. However, jump-starting the other car when the engine of the working car is running may result in a failure of the working car's charging circuitry. The problem is that it is designed to charge the battery and not to power the starter.

To be on a safe side, charge the battery of the non-working car for about 10 minutes, shut off the engine and then start the non-working car without disconnecting the battery of the second car. The charge of two batteries should be enough for the start.
After the non-working car has started, one can disconnect the jump wires as described here - it is safer since the load of the charging circuitry of a running car will just switch from (partially_charged + fully_charged) batteries to partially_charged one. Compared with powering the starter during the start, this load is negligible (actually, the charging circuitry is designed for this load).

author
Darwinfish made it!(author)2013-02-15

It's also good to set the parking brake and chock (put rocks or something before and behind) the tires that are still on the ground to prevent the car from rolling off the jack.

author
buirv made it!(author)2013-02-14

Almost always when connecting batteries, sparks are seen when making the final connection. For safety purposes, when connecting the ground (black) jumper cable (last), it is best to find a good grounding point AWAY from the battery. This is a technique to prevent the sparks from igniting the Hydrogen gas that is always around a battery. Especially a freshly discharged one. You can not smell hydrogen gas. There have been cases of people being blown up because they were not careful in doing this.

author
Ranie-K made it!(author)2013-02-13

To lessen the risk of the battery exploding from clamp sparks, I've been told to connect positive wires like here, but the negative cables to ground on the car instead of to the battery pole.

This way, sparks (that usually comes when connecting/disconnecting) is away from the battery and possible hydrogen gas.

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