There is nothing like being stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire. Whether you are in the city or the middle of nowhere, being unable to get where you need to go is frustrating to say the least. There is the possibility of calling for a tow truck or one of the many roadside assistance programs; however, you are at their mercy and could be in for a lengthy wait. The best, and often fastest, way to get back on the road again is to be able to change the tire yourself.
Before you begin, find a flat, safe place to change your tire. Make sure that you are clear of oncoming traffic and as far away from the roadway as possible. Once you are in position put your vehicle in park, or for standard transmission first or reverse, and it also doesn’t hurt to use your emergency brake to further ensure your vehicle doesn’t roll away. Placing a heavy object like a rock in front of the front and rear tires will also help keep your vehicle in place.
Once your vehicle is ready you can remove your spare tire and jack. Placement of the jack is very important. Many modern cars have plastic molding that will crack once you begin to raise your vehicle. You can consult your owner’s manual for proper placement or look for a small notch just behind the front wheel well or just in front of the rear wheel well that indicates where the jack should be placed. Older vehicles that have frames can be placed on the beam just behind the front tire or just in front of the rear. The car should be supported by the jack but not off the ground.
If your vehicle has a wheel cover it can be removed by inserting a screwdriver between the lip of the cover and the tire and gradually prying it off. When the cover is removed you can begin removing the lug nuts. First loosen them with a wrench and then remove them by hand. Once the lug nuts are removed, raise the vehicle so that the tire is off the ground. It can then be removed by grasping it with both hands and pulling it towards yourself. Place it at the rear of the vehicle and roll the spare tire to its spot.
As the spare tire is being lifted into place be mindful that the rim is lined up with the tire bolts. When the spare is in place you can begin losely reinserting the lug nuts. Lower the car back to the ground and continue tightening the lug nuts in a star pattern. Once the car is completely on the ground tighten the lug nuts completely.
With the flat tire and tools returned to your trunk you can assess your next steps. True spares, or donuts, are not intended to be driven for long distances or at speeds greater than 50 mph. If you have a donut it’s best to get to a repair shop where your tire can be repaired or replaced, many times in the same day. If you have a full size spare, you have more time to get to a repair shop since there are no limitations on distance or speed; however, it’s best to get the flat repaired or replaced as quickly as possible because you won’t have a spare at all if you experience another flat tire.
If you want to have your tire changed by the experts at Performance Plus Tire check out our touchless tires machine video below.