Getting a flat tire and not knowing how to change it can give you the sensation of being helpless and vulnerable. Nevertheless, changing a tire really isn’t that difficult and it’s only fitting that every vehicle owner or driver should have some practical knowledge of what it entails.
Getting the vehicle to a secured area
After you move to a secure area to change a tire, the spare tire, tire jack and lug wrench should be located and placed within reach. Make sure that the parking brake and the emergency brake are engaged. If the vehicle is on a slope, this can spell disaster, so park the vehicle on a plane surface. Now it’s time to loosen the lug nuts by turning the wrench in a counter-clockwise motion. It is important to emphasize that they should not be removed entirely. If they happen to be too tight, try standing on them or simply strike the wrench arm with a solid object.
Jacking up the vehicle and removing the lug nuts to change a tire
Placement of the jack is not universal, so check with your manual for the appropriate placement. When the jack is safely positioned, jack up the car to about six inches above the ground. At this stage you now remove the lug nuts, preferably by hand. You then hold the tire with both hands and remove them. Ensure that the lug nuts are placed all together so that they do not get misplaced.
Placing the spare and firmly tightening the lug nuts
Place the spare by lifting it onto the lug bolts. This is done by fitting the lug nut posts with the openings in the spare tire. Move the spare forward in the direction of the wheel base so that it can go no further. Put back the lug nuts by tightening them by hand for the moment. Once the vehicle is on the ground you begin to firmly tighten the lug nuts. Remember to take out the jack from beneath the car.
Finally you will make certain the lug nuts are tightened, once the car is back on the ground. Do not tighten one entirely and move on to the next. A better way is to proceed to tighten lug nuts gradually until all are tightened thoroughly.
Picture by S. Kobold – Fotolia