18 May Change A Tire Without Roadside Assistance
Unfortunately, flat or blown out tires are some of the most common problems for car owners. The good thing is, services like Tiger Towing are there to help get you back on the road quickly and safely. If you are more of a do-it-yourself kind of person, or you just want to err on the side of caution, then you might want to learn how to change a tire for yourself. It’s actually such a common problem that most car manufacturers have made it a fairly simple process. In this post we’re going to outline the tire-changing process step-by-step.
Before you start thinking about how to change a tire, it’s first important to understand the various ways to prevent one. Keep an eye out for worn spots and poor tread on your tires. These increase your chances for a flat, so it is best to replace a tire as trouble spots arise. Getting your tires rotated on a regular basis – like whenever you get your oil changed – will help your tires wear evenly and distribute weight evenly, too.
You can also prepare for changing a tire by having the proper tools in your car before you head out for a drive. You’ll need a jack, a lug wrench and a spare, which come with most cars nowadays. Check your manual if you’re not sure how to access these items. You might also want gloves, a flashlight, a mat or tarp to kneel on and tire blocks to make the process easier.
Once you have all of the right equipment, then you will be prepared to change a flat with these easy steps:
1. Find a safe, flat spot to pull over. If you are on a freeway, try to find an exit to pull off. Otherwise, pull as far onto the shoulder as possible. Make sure wherever you are is flat, and be sure to set your parking break.
2. Turn on your hazard lights. These will notify drivers that you are having car troubles so they can be cautious as they pass by. Grab your jack, wrench and spare and carefully walk over to the tire that is flat.
3. Use the wrench to loosen the lug nuts. You might have to pry off the hubcap first to access the nuts. Loosen them by turning the wrench counterclockwise. They might be screwed in very tight, so use your bodyweight to stomp on the wrench if necessary. Be sure only to loosen them, not remove them all the way.
4. Use the jack to lift the vehicle off the ground. The owner’s manual should have the exact spot underneath the car where the jack should be placed. Once it is in position, use it to lift your vehicle six inches off the ground.
5. Remove the lug nuts and the tire. The most important thing to make sure of in this step is that you put the nuts in a place where they won’t scatter or get lost. We recommend placing these items in a secure pocket, or even in a cup holder in the car. Pull the tire straight toward your body to remove it from the base, and place it under the car incase of jack failure.
6. Put the spare on the car. Line up the lug nut posts with holes in the spare and push it as far as you can onto the wheelbase.
7. Put the lug nuts on. You don’t need to tighten them all the way just yet. Just make sure they are snug enough to keep the spare on.
8. Lower the car back to the ground. Use the jack to bring the car back to ground level, and then remove the jack from under the car.
9. Tighten the lug nuts. Tighten opposite nuts gradually until they are all as tight as possible. So, start by tightening one nut 50 percent of the way, then tighten the one across the wheel from it by the same amount, and continue in this way until they are all completely tightened.
10. Pack up your tools and hit the road. Make sure you don’t leave any tools on the side of the road, and then carefully merge back onto the road.
The hardest part of changing a flat is being prepared for when that dreaded moment arises. If you can remember these steps, or even print them out and keep them in your car, then you will be good to go if you are ever stuck with a flat. If, for whatever reason, you can’t change your tire or run into unexpected difficulties, just give Tiger Towing a call and we will be there to help in no time!