THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2013
Changing a flat tire is a process designed to be simple enough for anyone to accomplish. But if you’ve never done it before, it may seem like a daunting task. Use this guide to get the job done quickly and effectively.
Never get underneath your car while it is jacked up for your own safety. You may want to keep an emergency kit in your trunk with items such as gloves, a flashlight (with extra batteries), a tarp or mat, tire gauge, tire blocks and a poncho or umbrella. These items can make changing a tire easier in a variety of road and weather conditions.
- Pull over to a safe, flat area off the road and turn on your hazard lights. Leave manual cars in first or reverse gear and automatic cars in park with the parking brake on. If you have tire blocks or bricks of some sort, place them in front of and behind the tire opposite the flat to prevent your car from moving.
- Retrieve your spare tire, jack and tire iron from the trunk of your car.
- Loosen the lug nuts using the tire iron (you may have to remove the hubcap first). They are very tight, so using your body weight to push the tire iron can be helpful.
- Consult your car’s manual and jack it up accordingly. Ensure that the jack is located in the correct position beneath the car’s frame (many cars have slots next to each tire). Any creaking noises you may hear are normal, so do not panic. Stop once your tire is high enough to spin freely.
- Unscrew the lug nuts the rest of the way with you hand and pull the old tire straight off.
- Lift the new tire, match up the holes on the rim to the bolts and push it straight back onto the car.
- Hold the tire in place and hand-tighten the lug nuts as tight as you can (using the tire iron will cause the wheel to spin).
- Lower the car back down slowly with the jack.
- Finish tightening the nuts with the tire iron. Tighten them in a diagonal pattern, rather than a circular pattern, to ensure even pressure.
- Drive to the nearest car dealership, tire shop or mechanic. Spare tires are not designed to be driven on for long distances. You’ll likely need to have it replaced with a full-sized tire.
Take the protection of your car a step further. Call Alliance Insurance Group at (720) 836-3428 for more information on Denver auto insurance.
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