You’ve just walked out of the DMV smiling ear to ear. As you approach your vehicle you receive a big congratulations from your parent. They toss you the keys and say take your first spin as a licensed driver. Sound familiar to you? Every year in the U.S. nearly 4 million new drivers are licensed2 in the U.S. Are you really prepared for the road though? You studied your state issued learning packet, learned the laws of the road, and even passed parallel parking. Obviously there is nothing you can’t handle.

Well let me ask you this, how do you change a flat tire? Every year flat tires and tire blowouts account for between 10-15% of automobile breakdowns in the U.S3. For those of you are sitting there thinking still no big deal, I have AAA or one of numerous other roadside assistant services, you are still wrong. What if you can’t contact your roadside assistant; it's not unfeasible  considering the possibility of no cell phone service, dead cell phone battery, roadside is busy so your call won’t go through, you don’t know where you are or what if roadside assistance can’t make it to your location? What if you are simply in a hurry and roadside assistance can’t be there in a timely manner because your automobile breakdown isn’t considered “critical”, so you keep getting moved down the list as more pressing customers are placed ahead of you.

Now imagine knowing you could fix this very predicament. No waiting for roadside assistance, if they can even come, and get the task done much faster. Most people can unsafely muddle their way through changing a flat tire, but when you are involving a multi-ton chunk of metal safety is key. Our goal is to teach you that through knowledge, careful preparation, and having a plan changing an automobile tire is safe, fast and easy.

Step 1: Preparing to Change a Flat Tire

The best way to deal with a situation is to plan for it. By taking minimal steps the task of changing a flat tire becomes significantly safer and easier. The following equipment and tools are needed to help you complete the task.

-Spare Tire: First and foremost to change a flat tire you need to be able to replacement it. Having a properly maintained spare tire available will greatly  in replacing the flat tire. One recommendation is to regularly inspect the spare tire; check the tire pressure to make sure it is in the necessary pressure range (listed on the tire), and that the tire and tire tread do not appear to have been compromised.


-Tire Iron: This tool will be used to loosen the lug nuts, which are what old the wheel to the wheel bolts.

-Jack: This is what will be used to raise the vehicle from the ground so the flat tire can be taken off the vehicle and the spare tire put on. It is important to make sure the jack is rated for your cars weight, see the products owner’s manual. Also it is important to find a strong and secure place on the vehicle's undercarriage to place the jack before using. A great source of reference is the vehicles owner manual.

-Flashlight: Having a flashlight is particularly useful if the tire replacement needs to be done at night or in an area of low light.

-Reflective Triangles (at least 2): Reflective triangles are used as a safety measure. When properly use they can signal to other drivers that a stopped vehicle is ahead and prepare to modify their driving style to avoid an accident.

-Tire Pressure Gauge: This is important in case the spare tire has not been properly maintained and has a low air pressure. By using the tire pressure gauge you can determine the how inflated the spare tire is. 

-Air Pump: This can be used to inflate a tire with in the event pressure is too low. It is common for most air pumps to have pressure gauges built in so obtained a separate pressure gauge may not be necessary.

Additionally knowing the parts of the vehicle you will be working with is important to understanding how to change a flat tire.

Very detailed, thoughtful, and comprehensive tutorial.

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