How to change a flat tire

A flat tire is one of the most common problems drivers have with their vehicle, and it can happen anywhere at any time. A worn-out tire can cause a flat, or even driving over a sharp object by accident on the road. Knowing how to change a flat tire is essential for any driver because you never know when you’ll need it. 

Changing a flat tire isn’t too difficult once you get the hang of it. There are some key items you will need in order to perform this task: lug wrench, jack, and a fully inflated spare tire. Some items you will also want to have handy in your car are gloves, wheel wedges, rain poncho and a flashlight. Once you feel your tire has gone flat, you will want to follow these steps to get back up and running again.  

Steps to Changing a Flat Tire 

  1. Turn on your hazards, pull over, and apply the parking brake.
  2. Once you are parked and out of the car you will want to remove your hubcap cover and loosen the lug nuts.
  3. Once you have loosened the lug nuts a little bit, place your jack under the vehicle and raise it.
  4. Place the jack beneath the vehicle frame alongside the tire that is flat. You want the tire to be about 6 inches off the ground.
  5. Unscrew the lug nuts completely and remove the flat tire.
  6. Mount the spare tire, and tighten lug nuts by hand. You’ll want to tighten as far as you can by hand.
  7. Lower the vehicle until the tire touches the ground, and tighten completely.
  8. Lower the car all the way down and replace your hubcap.

Woman calling for help with a flat tire in the city

Man changes a tire on a gray car

 Once you are finished, check the tire pressure. If it feels low, drive to the nearest service station to fill up. This whole process might take up to an hour, but with practice, it could take 15-30 mins. Proper tire maintenance is also important to increase the lifespan of your tires.

Read More:  Importance of having good tires on your car

Purchase Tires in Miamisburg, OH 

If you need new tires, please check out our tire center online. If have any questions regarding tires, feel free to contact our service team here at Matt Castrucci Mazda, or schedule a service today!  

What Should be Included in an Emergency Roadside Kit? Automotive Service Specials and Parts Coupons What should you do if your engine overheats? Do not try doing these 3 auto repairs yourself

Changing a tire is easy!

Step 1: Pull off the road on a completely flat area and place the car in park. Turn off your engine and switch on your hazard lights to warn other drivers of your situation. If there is heavy traffic, use flares.

Step 2: Place a large rock or sturdy, heavy object behind the tires if you’re facing slightly uphill or in front of the tires if you’re facing slightly downhill. Next, you will need your spare tire, a car jack, and a tire iron.

flat_tire.jpg

Step 3: Remove the hubcap using the wedge on your tire iron. Next, loosen the lug nuts by turning the tire iron counterclockwise. Don’t remove the lug nuts yet! Simply loosen them in a star-patterned order. Loosen one and then move diagonally to the next one and so on. Tip: Most tire and auto shops use pneumatic guns to screw on lug nuts. This means it could be extremely difficult to loosen them. In extreme cases, you may need to stand on your tire iron to produce enough loosening force.

Step 4: Jack up the car. Many cars have a particular spot on the frame for placing the jack. You may need to consult your owner’s manual to find this spot. The new, fully inflated tire will be slightly bigger than the flat one, so jack up the car high enough to take this into account.

Step 5: Completely remove the lug nuts and place them aside being sure not to lose them. If you have a hubcap, place them inside the upside-down hubcap.

Step 6: Carefully remove the flat tire. Place the new tire onto the wheel with the air valves facing out.

Step 7: One by one, replace the lug nuts in the same “star” pattern that you used to loosen them. Do not tighten them completely.

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Step 8: Lower and remove the jack from the car, then finish tightening the lug nuts.Step 9: Replace the hubcap, if necessary. That’s it! You just learned how to change a tire!

Things to Remember:

  • Periodically check to make sure that your spare tire is not flat.
  • When a car is up on the jack, do not climb under the car for any reason.

Every driver should know how to replace a flat tire. If you’ve never replaced a tire, practice this skill by removing and replacing an existing, healthy tire. Having some practice under your belt can make changing a tire on the side of a busy road a little less hair-raising.

Roadside DIY: How to Change a Flat Tire

What you’ll need to change a flat tire:

  • Screwdriver
  • Lug nut wrench
  • Car jack
  • New/spare tire

1. Before you begin, make sure your vehicle is in park, with the ignition off.

2. Using the screwdriver (or the end of the lug nut wrench), remove the wheel cover on the flat tire.

3. Using the lug nut wrench, loosen the lug nuts without removing them. (A single turn counter-clockwise should be enough.)

4. Consult your driver’s manual to ensure the correct positioning of the car jack for tire removal. The jack should be sitting on a flat, stable surface.

5. Using the car jack, slowly lift the car until the flat tire is between and three inches off the ground. (Safety note: You should never be underneath the car when it’s raised on a jack.)

6. Using the lug nut wrench, completely remove the loose lug nuts.

7. Remove the flat tire.

8. Place the new/spare tire on the car. Replace the lug nuts, and tighten them by hand just enough to secure the tire.

9. Release the car jack until the tread of the new tire just meets the ground. Finish tightening the lug nuts until they’re secure, then fully lower the car jack.

Check out this expert advice on How to Make Your Tires Last!

For more great tips on how to maintain your car and to find the parts you need, visit NAPA Canada.

WHAT YOU NEED

Changing a flat tire roadside starts with being prepared before you leave the house. Whether you opt to carry your gear in a saddlebag or a jersey pocket, here’s what you’ll need to have with you when the inevitable occurs:

  • At least one inner tube
  • Valve extension (especially if you have deep aero rims)
  • A mini pump or a CO2 inflator with cartridges
  • 1–2 tire levers
  • Tire patch kit

Keep in mind that if you choose a mini pump over a CO2 inflator, it will be difficult to inflate your tire to 90 psi. A frame pump will give you more leverage to inflate your tire to a higher psi but will weigh more than other options.

If you opt to go with a CO2 inflator, it’ll be easier to inflate your inner tube up to 110 psi, but you’ve only got one shot to inflate your tire correctly. If the inflator isn’t connected to valve stem as it should be, it could leave you stranded. A combination mini pump/CO2 inflator will weigh a little more, but it offers you a backup option should something go wrong.

While a patch kit might seem like overkill, a second or even third flat on the same ride could be a real problem if you don’t have more than one innertube. While it will require a bit more effort, a patch kit will allow you to make multiple repairs to a punctured innertube and get home without having to call for an emergency pickup.

TIPS FOR EMERGENCY REPAIRS

Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Whether it’s a tube that can’t be repaired or a gashed tire, here a few emergency tips you can use that could help get you home in a pinch:

  • A hole in an innertube that’s too large to repair: If you don’t have another innertube and you get a pinch flat or puncture that creates a hole too large to repair, your options will be limited. As a last resort, you can cut out the unrepairable section of innertube and tie the two ends together. While not ideal, it should allow you to get around 50psi in your tire until you are able to find a more permanent solution.
  • A gashed tire/sidewall: If your tire gets sliced, the innertube can protrude through the opening during inflation and make a second puncture more likely. While you’ll probably need to replace your tire once you get home, you can make a boot by covering the hole from the inside with an old gel wrapper, a dollar bill or a piece of duct tape. A strip or two of duct or electrical tape can be wrapped around a water bottle before leaving home and then used in a pinch for other roadside repairs as well.

Remember that the more you practice, the better and faster you’ll get at changing a tire. Before you’re forced to make a repair on the side of the road, it’s a good idea to practice a few times at home.

If you find yourself frustrated, keep in mind that flat tires happen to everyone — and occasionally, it can get the best of even the most experienced cyclists. When you’re in need of a visual refresher, check out this video by Lance Armstrong that offers a little guidance and a bit of humor, too.

GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT RIDE

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The Right Gear to Change a Tire

Firstly, have these items in your car:

  • Jack
  • Lug Wrench
  • Fully Inflated Spare Tire
  • Owner’s Manual

All of them should come standard if your vehicle includes a spare tire. Misplaced them? Never issued them in the first place? Pick up new ones, making sure the spare is regularly inflated to your manufacturer’s recommended PSI. Those are the essentials, but you’ll also do well to keep these in your trunk:

  • Flashlight
  • Rain Poncho
  • 2″x6” Wood to Secure the Jack
  • Gloves
  • Wheel Wedges

The Right Method

Okay, now onto the good stuff:

  1. Bring your vehicle to a safe location. Slow down and pick out a level, straight stretch of road with a wide shoulder
  2. Turn on your hazard lights before getting out.
  3. Apply the parking brake, even on level ground, to prevent rolling.
  4. Apply the wheel wedges. They go in front of the front tires when you’re changing a rear tire or behind the rear tires when you’re changing at the front.
  5. Place the jack beneath the frame. Look for a section of exposed metal, and follow the instructions in your owner’s manual.
  6. Place a small cut of 2×6” wood beneath the jack to prevent it settling, then start to lift. Remember never to place any part of your body under the vehicle.
  7. Unscrew the lug nuts – once loose, it’s easy to unscrew them by hand.
  8. Remove the flat by gripping the treads and pulling gently towards you. Set it on its side to prevent rolling.
  9. Mount the spare on the lug nuts, then tighten them by hand until they are all on.
  10. Lower the vehicle slightly and tighten the lug nuts with a wrench
  11. Bring the vehicle to the ground
  12. Replace the hubcap. It may not fit – if so, stow it with your flat.
  13. Check the pressure of the spare to make sure it’s safe to drive on.
  14. Drive to a service center. Remember, spares are meant to be temporary and shouldn’t be driven at high speeds.
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The Right Gear

Firstly, have these items in your car:

  • Jack
  • Lug Wrench
  • Fully Inflated Spare Tire
  • Owner’s Manual

Misplaced them? Never issued them in the first place? Pick up new ones, making sure the spare is regularly inflated to your manufacturer’s recommended PSI.

You’ll also want the following on-hand:

  • Flashlight
  • Rain Poncho
  • 2″x6” Wood to Secure the Jack
  • Gloves
  • Wheel Wedges

The Right Method

Okay, now onto the good stuff:

  1. Bring your vehicle to a safe location. Slow down and pick out a level, straight stretch of road with a wide shoulder
  2. Turn on your hazard lights before getting out.
  3. Apply the parking brake, even on level ground, to prevent rolling.
  4. Apply the wheel wedges. They go in front of the front tires when you’re changing a rear tire or behind the rear tires when you’re changing at the front.
  5. Place the jack beneath the frame. Look for a section of exposed metal, and follow the instructions in your owner’s manual.
  6. Place a small cut of 2×6” wood beneath the jack to prevent it settling, then start to lift. Remember never to place any part of your body under the vehicle.
  7. Unscrew the lug nuts – once loose, it’s easy to unscrew them by hand.
  8. Remove the flat by gripping the treads and pulling gently towards you. Set it on its side to prevent rolling.
  9. Mount the spare on the lug nuts, then tighten them by hand until they are all on.
  10. Lower the vehicle slightly and tighten the lug nuts with a wrench
  11. Bring the vehicle to the ground
  12. Replace the hubcap. It may not fit – if so, stow it with your flat.
  13. Check the pressure of the spare to make sure it’s safe to drive on.
  14. Drive to a service center. Remember, spares are meant to be temporary and shouldn’t be driven at high speeds.

BUY 3 TIRES AND GET THE 4TH FOR FREE

Program only valid when mounting and balancing 4 tires. Mount, balance, and alignment extra. Discount not valid with any other offer. Must present coupon at time of purchase. Limit one coupon per person. Coupon does not apply to prior purchases. Tax and installation additional.

Engine oils Expires: November 30, 2018

Includes Free Brake and Battery Inspection

Discount not valid with any other offer. Must present coupon at time of purchase. Limit one coupon per person. Acura and Honda vehicles only. Coupon does not apply to prior purchases. Synthetic oil extra.

Expires: November 30, 2018$40 off Vehicle Detail

Get $40 off vehicle detail.  Detail includes:

  • Remove all road dirt, grime and steam clean engine
  • Prep vehicle surface by using clay bar
  • Machine application and removal of compound to eliminate scratches
  • Hand application of sealer to restore oils to paint
  • Hand application of wax, with machine removal and buffing, followed by hand buffing and detailing
  • Shampooing all rugs and cloth areas; treating all vinyl & leather area, sealing all rubber areas
  • Cleaning all glass and chrome areas

Expires: November 30, 2018

Buy 1 tire, get 1 tire 50% off.

Program only valid when mounting and balancing 2 tires. Mount, balance, and alignment extra. Discount not valid with any other offer. Must present coupon at time of purchase. Limit one coupon per person. Coupon does not apply to prior purchases. Tax and installation additional.

Expires: November 30, 2018

Help Acura of Ocean support Fulfill (former FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties) with “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”.  Bring in 4 or more non-perishable items and receive 15% off your service or parts bill.

Discount does not apply on tires. Discount not valid with any other offer. Must present coupon at time of purchase. Limit one coupon per person. Coupon does not apply to prior purchases.

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