How to Change a Tire

Introduction: How to Change a Tire

An important skill every driver needs to know is how to change a flat tire. A flat tire could happen to anyone at any time for many different reasons. We should all be prepared when it does happen. It’s important to keep a jack, lug wrench, and an inflated spare tire in your vehicle at all times! As a former mechanic who is also a female, I will demonstrate the easiest way to change a tire.

Supplies

The supplies needed are a spare tire, a jack, and a lug wrench

Step 1: Safety!!

The very first step in changing a tire is knowing all the safety precautions. Safety is very important when you're working with heavy machinery. First find a safe place to do it! A safe place is a flat surface, a well-lit area if it’s dark outside, and or if you are parking on the side of the road to park far enough away from traffic. The vehicle transmission then will need to be parked and turned off. Also, the parking brake will need to be put up with the hazard lights on. This step is very important so other moving vehicles could see and the vehicle does not roll and move while changing the tire.

Step 2: Locating Supplies

Locate all the basic supplies you will need to change the tire. It all depends on the vehicle you have to actually locate where the supplies are. So make sure you check out your owners manual to find these items if you don’t know where they are at. In most vehicles, it will be in the trunk.

Step 3: Loosen the Lug Nuts

The first thing to do is take off the hub cap if you have one of course. The next thing is to loosen the lug nuts using the wrench. Turn the lug nuts counterclockwise to loosen them. Only loosen each one enough to break the seal so it isn’t so hard when you have the vehicle lifted up with the jack.

Step 4: Position Jack and Lift Up Vehicle

Get the jack and put it under the vehicle in a spot under the frame. Make sure it’s in the corner where the tire is being changed out. Therefore, you will raise the jack so that it almost touches the frame. Once the jack is raised enough to just touch the frame; position the jack so that it is not tilted. It’s important to put it under the frame because it's metal, if you put it under the body of the vehicle it will damage the vehicle once it starts getting lifted. Once the jack is in the right position proceed to lift it up until the tire is clear off the ground. It’s best to lift it up high enough to fit a fully inflated tire under there.

Step 5: Remove Tire and Put Away

Now you will be able to take off the lug nuts completely using the wrench or by hand if it’s loose enough. It is now time to take off the tire and put it away in the trunk.

Step 6: Put on Spare

The last thing that needs to be done is putting on the spare. To put on the spare tire align the holes with the threaded shafts: then slide the tire onto the threaded shafts. At this time, hand tighten the lug nuts on the threaded shafts. Turn the nuts clockwise to tighten. Now take the lug nut wrench and tighten the lug nuts. Make sure that when you tighten the nuts completely in the next step you do it in an evenly way (all the nuts at the same pressure.) A useful tip is tightening in a star-shaped order starting with the top, move to the opposite, and so on.

Step 7: Finish Up

Once the lug nuts are tightened, lower the vehicle and tighten one more time around. The last step is to put away all tools, turn off hazards, and release the parking brake.

Although changing a flat tire might seem like a simple process for someone who has done it many times, others who never had to do it and don’t know how it’s done might feel overwhelmed. Remember safety is the most important thing!

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