Changing a tire is something that many people think is beyond their ability. However, almost anyone can learn to change a tire, with the right tools, by following a simple process. Once you have carefully moved to the side of the road and confirmed that you are far enough away from traffic to change the tire, you need to go assess the damage. If the tire is flat, the only choice you have is to change the tire.

Begin by pulling out your auto manual, because it will give you step-by-step instructions specific to your vehicle, in case you have forgotten some of the steps. Because you will be driving on the replacement tire for generally several miles at least, it is vital that it be installed correctly.

The engine needs to be off and the emergency brake utilized for safety. If you are driving a car, the tools and spare tire are likely under the carpet in the trunk. In a truck, these things are generally found under the hood or behind the seat in the cab.

You can start by taking off the wheel cover or hub cap. If the lug wrench has a flat end, you can use that to pry off the wheel cover. If not, a screwdriver or something like it can do the job. Before you use the jack, you will need to loosen (not remove yet!) the lug nuts.

Next, follow the instructions on or with the jack, to ensure safety and proper location of the jack, as you jack the car. Again, refer to your auto manual to make sure you are using a correct jack point for your vehicle. You just have to get it high enough to get the wheel off the ground.

Now you can take the lug nuts all the way off. Carefully pull the wheel off the frame and set it down flat on the ground. Put the spare tire on and replace all of the lug nuts. Tighten them the best you can in this position.

Once you lower the jack and pull it out, you will need to finish tightening those lug nuts. However, it is important that you do this in a certain way. If there are five nuts, tighten every other nut until you get to all of them. If there are four, tighten the opposite one as the first you tightened, and then tighten the other two.

Now replace the wheel cover or hubcap and you are on your way! Just remember that if your spare is a ‘doughnut,’ not a full-sized tire, you will have to go very soon (and under 50 MPH) to your nearby Utah auto repair center or tire shop, to get that doughnut replaced with a proper tire.

Categories: Auto Repair

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