There are many reasons why you may need to change your car tire. These reasons can be planned or unplanned.
An instance of an unplanned tire change is when you suddenly discover that your car tire is leaking or has become flat.
On the other hand, you can schedule a tire change especially when you plan to replace your old car tire with a new one.
A planned tire change can be less consuming since you can easily call or schedule an appointment with a professional.
However, have you ever thought of what happens on a highway when you suddenly discover a flat tire?
0A flat tire can spoil your day. Changing tire is something most people don’t want to do on the road, as it is an unpleasant and dangerous task.
However, the best idea is to learn to change a tire like a pro so that you can quickly resolve any issue that may come your way at any time.
Steps to Change a Tire like a Pro
1. Drive you a flat surface
The best platform to perform your tire change is on a flat, non-sloppy surface. Lifting the car on bent surfaces can cause physical damages to your car. Turn on the hazard lights too.
2. Loosen the lug nuts
The next stage is to loosen the lug nuts. Check to see if your tire has a hubcap and remove them first. Then, loosen all the lug nuts on the tire but do not completely remove them.
Remember that you cannot loosen the tire lug nuts after you have lifted the car up above the ground surface. The best idea is to use a lug wrench because it grips the nuts firmly.
3. Set the jack appropriately
Now, place the car jack appropriately under the car. Makes sure you place it in the proper location in order to avoid physical damage to your car. You can get a suitable position by reading your owner’s manual.
4. Jack the car up
After placing the jack appropriately, lift the car up by cranking the handle of the jack.
There are different types of jacks but most of them work by using a small rod to rotate a small axis which, in turn, causes the topmost part of the jack to move up slowly but steadily.
Lift the vehicle high until the tire no longer touches the ground surface.
5. Remove the nuts
Remember you have already loosened the nuts? Good! Then next is to remove the loosened nuts and keep them safe because you will still need them to fix the spare tire.
6. Remove the tire
After you have removed and safely kept the nuts, you can now remove the tire from the car. Hold the tire towards you and pull gently, shaking from right to left.
The tire might weigh up to 30 pounds depending on the car, so be careful while removing it. If you haven’t loosened the nuts before lifting your car, it will be difficult to loosen it at this stage.
7. Replace the tire
To replace the tire with either a spare or after you have repaired it, mount the tire on the hub and set properly. Place the nuts and tighten them using your hands and not the wench.
8. Lower the car
Lower the car by unwinding the jack until it is fully in contact with the ground. This is just the opposite so the process of lifting the car. Remove the jack after this.
9. Tighten the nuts
Now, it is time to properly tighten those nuts you initially tightened with your hand through the use of the lug wrench. Tighten one nut lightly and then move to the most opposite.
Repeat this process until the nuts are more securely tightened.
10. Return all gadgets
Now that you have successfully changed your tire, the next proper thing is to replace all gadgets to where you collected them.
If you fixed the extra tire, make sure you repair the major one and keep for future use. Also, return and keep other tools appropriately for future use.
Things to Take Care of When Changing a Tire
- Always have your spare tire intact. You cannot tell when one of your tires will develop a fault. Also, check to ensure you have proper tools like jack, lug wrench, caution road symbol, and spare tire before traveling by car.
- Change your tires in secure locations only. No matter how worst the car tire condition may be, try to drive off the road, away from dangers of traffic before you attempt to change a tire.
- Do not ignore visible safety measures. Never forget to put on the hazard traffic lights and place the caution road symbol appropriately. You can also keep the car doors open to provide an extra layer of safety and sufficiently keep cars away.
- Block the other tires with hard objects in the front and back. This is essential because cars can attempt to move if not blocked while trying to forcefully loosen or tighten the nuts. Since you are working on a tire, make sure you block the other three tires with stones, brinks, or specially-made tire breakers. Apply emergency breaks too.
- Again, do not attempt to lift the car without previously loosen the nuts. Attempting to loosen the nuts while your car is raised will only cause the tire to spin. So, loosen the nuts adequately before lifting the car so that you can easily remove the nuts with hand.
- Always remove and keep the spare beside you before lifting to the car. Failure to do this means you will be interacting with a car that is on the jack. Without being told, you should know that this can be dangerous because you may push the car while trying to remove the spare tire from the car trunk.
- Don’t toy with the jack. The Jack is heavy-weighted and can cause severe physical injury if not handled properly. So, be extra careful when handling the car jack.
- Keep all gadgets lubricated. Once in awhile, always check your car gadgets and keep them lubricated. Gadgets that are unused or have been used over a long period of time can start to rust and may become hard to maneuver. To prevent issues that may arise later, keep all car gadgets in good condition.
Having a flat tire is a significant inconvenience. When you don’t have a spare tire, you can either fix the tire on your own or call a tow company. The process of fixing a flat tire is easy. You need a lug wrench and a jack to fix the tire. Consider using a hydraulic floor jack to improve strength.
If you don’t have a spare tire, you need a repair kit that contains an air compressor, probe tool, tire plugs, and pliers. You can also use an inflator to get to the closest tire shop.
Car owners usually remove the penetrated tire. Then, they will replace it with a replacement, allowing them to travel to a repair shop to ask for a replacement.
What if the tire is not severely damaged and you don’t have a spare tire? If you have a patch kit and the right tools and the hole in the tire is not that big, you can fix the tire on your own. However, take note that this solution is only short-term.
That’s mainly because a patched tire is safe to use for around 3 days. You can also use it for at least one hundred miles. Using a spare tire won’t solve the problem either. The best solution to a punctured tire is to get it adequately replaced.
Plug a Punctured Tire
Before you fix the tire, make sure you have everything you need. Are you now considering to fix your flat tire during fog or at night? Then it’s vital that you have to wear a reflector vest, allowing you to improve your road visibility.
It’s also important to place triangle hazard signs to notify others about your situation. Place one hazard sign 5 meters in front of your car and another hazard sign 5 meters behind your vehicle.
Take out the flat tire
Pop off the flat tire. Loosen the lug nuts with the help of atta lug wrench. Don’t remove the lug nuts from the bolts yet. Attach the jack to the right jacking area.
The parking brake should be engaged, and your car should be in gear to prevent the vehicle from rolling. Make sure you’re on level ground while fixing the tire. Jacking a car on a slope can be dangerous. Once your vehicle is jacked up, take off the lug nuts and remove the tire.
Locate the hole and plug it
Pull the object that punctured the car tire. If you don’t have any idea about the location of the leak, you can inflate the tire and listen or feel around the tire surface for escaping air or opening.
You can also spray the inflated tire with soapy water. Bubbles will quickly form at the puncture point. Ream the hole out to ensure that the plug will fit.
Adhesives are usually included in a patch kit. Insert the adhesive into the hole until almost 2” of the adhesive is protruding from the tire. Allow the adhesive to dry and remove the bulging excess of the adhesive before throwing it away.
Check the plug’s seal
You can test the plug by expanding the tire. Make sure you listen over the tire to see if there’s evading air. Another way to test the plug is by spraying the tire with soapy water.
Reattach the wheel
Reattach the lug nuts and tire. Tighten the lug nuts just enough to keep the tire in place. Don’t forget to lower your vehicle into the surface, taking out your jack.
Tighten the lug nuts in an X or star pattern if you have a 4-bolt model. Don’t forget to read the car’s torque requests. If completed appropriately, you can go to a shop to get a proper tire replacement.
Replace a Flat Tire
If you have a spare tire, you can replace the flat one on your own. Here’s how you can do it.
Take out the flat tire
Before you raise the car with a jack, loosen the lug nuts on the tire with a lug wrench. Don’t remove the nuts yet. Fasten the jack to the right jacking point, raising the side of the vehicle you are completing.
Ensure you perform that on a level surface. Once the car is jacked up, remove the nuts and pop off the flat tire.
Attach the spare tire
The spare wheel should have a similar type of tire. This must similar to the one you are working on. After all, you don’t want to drive with 1 summer tire and 3 snow tires. Attach the nuts to the bolts, but don’t tighten them completely. Lower the jack until your car’s full weight is placed on the tire.
Take out the jack and then tighten the nuts in an X or star pattern. You can drive the car again, but you need to be careful because spare tires are not made to be used for very long.
Don’t exceed 50 mph when you’re driving with a spare tire. Go to a repair shop to get a suitable tire placement. You may also want to get the tires rotated while your car is in the shop.
Will it Take a Long Time to Fix the Tire?
It depends on the extent of car tire damage, your experience in repairing flat tires, and the availability of the tools you need.
If you have fixed a few car tires before, it means that you know how to utilize a wheel spanner and jack. These tools can be purchased from auto mechanic shops and gas stations.
Fixing a car tire takes less than 5 minutes as you only need to replace the flat tire with a spare.
Slow punctures and defective tire valves need more time as you have to go to a mechanic to get your car fixed because they have the tools and experience fix tires.
If you already have the required tools and a spare tire, you will not pay anything. That is why you should always travel with a fully loaded toolbox and a spare tire.
The prices of tires depend on what brand your car uses. If you want to call a car mechanic, you have to pay his labor fees as well.
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