All drivers must be able to change a tire. If you depend on a cell phone to help you deal with this roadside emergency, there is always a risk of you forgetting to charge it, leaving it at home or being out of network coverage.
A flat tire can occur anywhere, and a mobile phone does not replace experience in how to change flat tires. Fortunately, replacing a tire is not tough! Simply follow these instructions to ensure that you are prepared in the event of a flat tire.
Things You Would Need
These items may come with your vehicle:
- Lug wrench
- Lug wrench
- Spare tire-fully inflated
- Vehicle owner’s manual
If you’re missing some of these things, or if your vehicle did not come equipped with them, you must immediately purchase them. Additionally, ensure that you periodically inflate the spare tire to the PSI prescribed by the carmaker.
Check the air pressure of the spare tire whenever you check the pressure of the other tires. Remember to monitor pressure at least once a month and prior to extended trips or transporting additional loads. The following things are not included in your car but you can keep them in your glove box or trunk in case you need to repair a flat tire:
- Flashlight with fully charged batteries
- Poncho in case it rains
- Small cut wood pieces to secure the jack
- Wheel wedges
How to Prepare To Change Car Tires
These are the steps to follow:
- Look for a Safe Location
Do not suddenly stop or turn when you notice you have a flat tire. Reduce your speed gradually and scan the area for a level, straight section of road with a broad shoulder. A vacant parking lot will be perfect. It is beneficial to have level ground so it will keep the car from rolling.
Additionally, straight road stretches are preferable to curves as oncoming traffic has a higher chance of seeing you. Never try a tire change on a narrow shoulder, very close to oncoming traffic. Continue moving (slowly) until you reach a safer spot.
Although driving on a flat tire means damaging the rim, it is preferable to being struck by an unobservant driver. Once you’ve reached a secure spot, you must determine if it’s safe to attempt to change the tire yourself. Some things to consider include:
- Is the ground in that spot stable? If the surface is sand, grass or something else that is not tightly packed, you should avoid attempting to change your tire there.
- Is it level? If the terrain is rocky or hilly, changing the tire is very risky.
- You must consider traffic and place flares or traffic cones if you have them. They might provide some space, but if you are in any way uncomfortable, you can contact AAA or other a garage for roadside assistance.
- Turn on the Car’s Hazard Lights
Your “flashers” or hazard lights will enable other drivers to notice you as you pull off to the side of that road. Turn the lights on once you realize that you would have to pull over to prevent an accident.
- Engage the Parking Brake
- Place the Wheel Wedges
Wheel wedges are placed in behind or in front of the tires to prevent the car from rolling while you are replacing the flat tire. If you’re replacing a rear tire, position the wedges in front of the car’s front tires. If you have a front flat tire, place the wheel wedges right behind the rear tires.
Bricks or big stones will work in place of actual wheel wedges. Simply ensure that they are wide enough to prevent the vehicle from rolling as that can be unsafe and cause an accident. Once you have followed all these steps you can change the tire as per the instructions in the owner’s manual safely and easily.