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A flat tire can occur in a variety of ways, everything from a nail in the road to improper air pressure. You can’t control nails and other debris on the road, but you can eliminate a multitude of issues by regularly checking your tire’s pressure and treads. But in the case you do get a flat, changing a tire isn’t too difficult.
- Park the car on a level part off the road. For safety purposes, apply the parking brake and turn on your hazard lights. Be sure you park far enough off the road that you will have the space to work.
- The next step is to remove the spare tire and the tools you will need to perform the change. From there some wheels have hubcaps that cover the lug nuts. Remove the hub caps to give you access to the lugs.
- Using a tire iron, loosen the lug nuts by turning them counterclockwise. Do not entirely remove them yet. Do not loosen adjacent lugs, if the wheel has an even number then loosen them in an X pattern (Star pattern for odd number).
- Place the jack underneath the car’s chassis at a sturdy point near the flat tire. Consult your owner’s manual for the precise placement of the jack for your vehicle. Crank the jack in the direction that will allow you to raise the car, do so until the car is high enough to remove the tire and install the fully inflated spare. If you have a jack stand, install it next to the jack.
- With the tire now off the ground, unscrew and remove the lugs. Be sure to keep track of the lugs as you remove them, a good place to keep them is in the hubcap that you may have removed earlier. Remove the flat tire.
- With the side of the spare tire with the air valve facing you, place the tire onto the threaded metal studs. Screw the lug nuts back on with your hands as far as you can by rotating them clockwise. Continue to do so with the tire iron. Remember to do so a little at a time using the pattern described earlier.
- Lower and then remove the jack from underneath the car. Give the lug nuts another tightening to ensure the wheel is on tight. Replace the hubcap.
- A spare tire is designed to get you where you need to go and then to the shop to get a new tire. Don’t put that off for too long.