I will never forget the first time I had a flat tire. I was heading out of town with my younger cousin to see a movie when I heard a loud bang and my whole car starting shaking. I was still in city limits so I maneuvered my car into the parking lot of a local bar. We went inside where I called my older brother to come help me. I was 18 and had never had a reason to learn how to change a tire.
While waiting for my brother to arrive, two older men kindly offered to help me with my tire. As they went to my trunk to pull out what they needed, they realized I didn’t have a tire iron or a jack. This began an argument amongst the two of them over whose jack to use. During this argument, my brother arrived and they agreed to use his jack. My cousin and I continued watching as the three men changed my tire. After forty-five minutes (that’s not an exaggeration), they had finally finished. It was with great amusement that my cousin and I watched the three men stand back, each light a cigarette and admire their handiwork. It was that exact moment that I knew I would never wait for another man to change my tire again.
My uncle taught me how to change my tire step-by-step. Follow the simple instructions below so you will never have to wait on help for a flat tire again.
1) The first rule of changing a tire is to always treat your spare like you do your other tires. Each time you go in for an oil change and they check the air pressure in your tires, make sure they check the spare too. This is so you don’t end up with a flat tire and a spare without enough air pressure.
2) Ensure your car is in gear or park, the emergency brake is set and the car is parked on a flat area. Try to avoid parking on dirt when changing a tire.
3) Use the tire iron to loosen each wheel lug (the big bolts on your wheel) by turning them counter-clockwise. They’ll be tight so use all your strength. Do not actually remove the lugs yet, just loosen them.
4) Slide the jack underneath the jack point (closest to the tire you need to change) and start to raise the jack. Continue raising the jack until it comes into contact with the car’s frame. Expand the jack until the tire is completely off the ground.
5) Now you can remove the lugs completely. Set them aside but secure them so they can’t roll away. Then remove the flat tire off the wheel studs (the giant screws).
6) Place the spare tire on the wheel studs. Once you have the tire on there securely, screw each of the wheel lugs back on. Start them by hand and use the tire iron to make sure they’re snug. Once again, do not tighten them all the way.
7) Now that the tire is on, lower the jack and pull it out from under the car. The only thing left to do is completely tighten the lugs. Use all your strength to make sure they’re as tight as you can make them.
Now you’re finished. Simply place the flat tire where you store your spare along with the jack and tire iron. Have your flat fixed as soon as possible in case you have another flat soon. You don’t want to get caught without a spare.